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Public schools are becoming more strict – especially when it comes to what children can and cannot eat on the premises. While American schools still provide mediocre lunches to students, more schools are putting a stricter demand on students’ parents to pay out the extra cash to provide healthy snacking options for the kids. And now one Colorado mother is outraged after her daughter’s preschool teacher sent her home with un-eated cookies although mom had packed them as her lunchtime snack. And she is speaking out about so-called lunch shaming in the school system.
When Leeza Pearson signed her daughter up for the expensive private preschool, The Children’s Academy, she had no idea they would have such strict rules about what the children could and could not eat. Although the Aurora, Colorado school clearly has a policy concerning students’ lunches and snacks, Pearson chose to disregard it and send her daughter to school with sweet cookies nonetheless.
After Pearson packed Oreo cookies into her 4-year-old daughter Natalee’s lunch bag, she was surprised to see her daughter come home with the packet of cookies unopened. They’re usually her favorite part of the meal. She had eaten her sandwich and string cheese but not he cookies. Pearson wanted to know why. That’s when her daughter served her with a note from the preschool.
The letter was not directed at Pearson personally, but was written to inform all parents that the preschool has rules concerning their students’ lunches.
“It is very important that all students have a nutritious lunch. This is a public school setting and all children are required to have a fruit, a vegetable and a healthy snack from home, along with a milk. If they have potatoes, the child will also need bread to go along with it. Lunchables, chips, fruit snacks, and peanut butter are not considered to be a healthy snack. This is a very important part of our program and we need everyone’s participation.”
Pearson feels like her daughter’s preschool teacher “lunch shamed” her by not letting her devour her sugary cookies.
“I think it is definitely over the top, especially because they told her she can’t eat what is in her lunch,” Pearson said. “They should have at least allowed to eat her food and contacted me to explain the policy and tell me not to pack them again.”
Pearson decided to bring the letter to ABC News and take the story public.
She then accused the school of hypocrisy saying that the school allows sweets for holidays and birthdays. She also says they give out jellybeans in the after school program.
“They say I can’t decide what to feed her but then they sometimes feed her junk food. Why am I being punished for Oreos when at other times I am asked to bring candy?” Pearson said.
Pearson feels like the school is trying to make her daughter feel guilty about the food she eats.
“She is not overweight by any means and I usually try to feed her healthy,” Pearson said. “It’s not like I was offering cookies to the entire class and it’s not like that was the only thing in her lunch.”
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