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Did This School Overstep Their Boundaries to Protect a Child’s Health?

Lea Lomas

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When you send your child to school with a packed lunch, you expect that they’ll return home happy and full. However, one mother was shocked to see her young daughter return from preschool with a grumbling stomach and a note from her teacher. The story, revolving around Leeza Pearson and her daughter, would sweep the nation while sparking heated debates on both sides of the situation. Keep on reading to find out why Leeza Pearson had to move her daughter to an entirely new school!

Home and Hungry

Leeza Pearson had been enjoying a regular day at home while her daughter, Natalee, was at preschool. Only, her day would take a sharp turn away from normalcy when classes ended for the day. Soon, Natalee would be home and all of their lives would be changing. What happened at school? Why was Natalee hungry?

Controversy in Colorado

Leeza Pearson lived in Aurora, Colorado, with her husband and young daughter, Natalee. The city is known for being progressive, nurturing, and kind. Leeza’s daughter had been attending the Aurora Children’s Academy at the time. Supposedly a great public school, Leeza would be blown away by what was about to happen.

Notable Preschool

Aurora’s Children Academy & Childcare Center is considered one of the top preschools in the entire city. The school takes on 150 students every year. This small class size allows staff members to care for the children with the maximum amount of attention possible. As you’ll soon find out, this may not have been the best thing in the world for Leeza and Natalee!

Bad Day at School

During an otherwise completely average day, Leeza would see her life change dramatically. When her daughter returned home from school, she was upset, crying, and terribly hungry. What’s more, she was clutching a note in her hands that had been given to her by the school. The note would spark rage in Leeza while inciting a controversy across the nation.

The Note

As you can see, the note clearly calls out Leeza for the food that she had provided to Natalee. According to the note, the school takes an incredibly proactive approach to deal with unhealthy students. The only problem was that Leeza hadn’t given her daughter much in the way of junk food at all! According to Leeza, Natalee had a ham and cheese sandwich, some string cheese, and a tiny bag of Oreos.

Problematic Oreos

According to Leeza, Natalee typically brings some vegetables and fruit with her to lunch. With that being said, Leeza still didn’t understand the reaction. Natalee wasn’t even close to overweight! Instead, Natalee was a perfectly healthy, adorable little girl. What right did the school have to take her lunch away?

Going to Social Media

Leeza wasn’t about to back down without a fight. Feeling furious at the school for causing her child to starve, Leeza took to social media to share her story. It quickly became clear that the issue wasn’t as cut-and-dry as Leeza had thought! While many parents were on her side, other parents argued that Leeza’s lunch was pretty unhealthy.

Eating Healthy Foods

Some members of social media would argue that the Children’s Academy was merely watching out for Natalee. Childhood obesity is a terrifying epidemic that is currently plaguing modern America. When the staff saw Natalee open up a sack of carbs and sweets, they must have wanted to act immediately. According to extensive research, children learn better when they eat healthily. Was the Children’s Academy in the right?

Against Protocol

While the school hasn’t had much to say regarding the now infamous note, the administrative team at the Aurora’s Children Academy did release a statement about the note. Essentially, the administration said that it was not their policy to leave notes in lunches for parents to read at a later time. Whatever faculty member made that decision had done so in error.

Feeling Shamed

While Leeza understood the importance of providing a healthy lunch, she also understood what it was like to be shamed. Leeza would talk about her experience with several publications. Throughout all of her interviews, Leeza kept rounding back on the concept of being publicly shamed. If the school had a problem, why didn’t they contact her directly? Why did they make her child starve first?

Details Come Out

Eventually, it was revealed that the school did not take the lunch away from Natalee. Instead, they traded out the child’s package of Oreos with a cup of tasty fruit. As children tend to do, Natalee threw a tantrum. She refused to eat anything unless she was allowed to have her Oreos back. As it turns out, the school didn’t stop Natalee from eating at all. They merely improved upon her lunch! Still, some parents felt that this was too far.

Crossing a Line

According to Leeza, the biggest problem in this situation was the fact that the school had crossed a serious line. Leeza said, “What the school thinks is healthy for her is not what I think is healthy for her.” Leeza would further emphasize her point by stating that what Natalee eats is between Leeza, Natalee, and her doctor. Leeza also had a great point! If you were in this situation, what would you do as a parent?

Enjoying a Treat

As the controversy continued to roll through the internet, Leeza became more entrenched within her position. She felt like she had been unfairly maligned as a mother who stuffed junk down her family’s throats. That just wasn’t the case, according to Leeza. What’s more, Leeza said that Natalee deserved her Oreos because it was a treat at the end of the week. Leeza says, “She has a full, healthy lunch. And this was Friday! Why not give her a special treat?”

Defending Her Rights

The point of contention between Leeza and the school was quite complicated. From Leeza’s point of view, she had been disrespected as a mother while her child had been forced to go without. From the perspective of the school, they had given Natalee a healthy meal when they felt that Leeza had not. Natalee made matters worse by simply refusing to eat. Who was in the right? Who was in the wrong? Was there a real answer?

Not Your Typical School

If you can remember back to your school-days, try to think about the lunches that you were served. When you were a child, do you remember getting healthy foods for lunch from school? Probably not, right? For a long time, school lunches were something of a joke. That is, at least, until recent legislative changes made by the Department of Education. Now, schools are more in touch with the food that they are serving.

Leaving the School

While both Leeza and the school had their own stances, ultimately there wasn’t enough common ground to salvage a relationship. Leeza decided to pull young Natalee out of the Aurora Children’s Academy in order to bring her to a different school. For Leeza, there was simply too much bad blood shared with the other school. It was time for a change!

Changing Policies

The Chief Communications Officer of the Aurora Public School system is Patti Moon. Moon went public with a statement that seemed to reinforce how Leeza was in the right. According to Moon, the policy of the school system is to keep parents informed about healthy choices. Further, Moon stated that it was never their goal to offer punitive actions in lieu of genuine assistance. The person who had left the note had clearly overstepped school policy.

Your Own Stance

If you are a parent or aspire to be one someday, how would you react to this situation? Would you side with Leeza? Would you want absolute control over the food your child ate, even if it was unhealthy? Or do you side with the school system? Do you want the school to offer healthy alternatives as well as healthy food reinforcement practices?

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Dog Survives Cancer By Wearing Outlandish Costumes

Leslie Tander

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Whenever dogs and cats get spayed or neutered, they have to wear the “cone of shame.” It’s that big uncomfortable plastic cone that keeps them from being able to bite at their stitches- which would be pretty messy and unpleasant for everyone. But, anyone who has ever had a pet in the cone of shame knows- they really hate it. Sometimes they try furiously to get out of it, and sometimes they just lay down and whine- but that ALWAYS hate it.

But we found one exceptional case of a golden retriever that actually seemed to enjoy his come. Rusty is a 9-year-old retriever who had a rare case of bladder cancer. Fortunately, Mary and Madeline are very proactive about Rusty’s health and take him in for checkups regularly. Rusty’s cancer was spotted and diagnosed early. That gave Mary and Madeline a lot of hope- but naturally, they were very worried about their furry pal. Rusty didn’t show any signs of illness, except for visible weakness in his left hind leg, which he would favor. This, it turned out to be caused by pain in his abdomen when he put weight on the leg.

After being diagnosed, he was scheduled quickly and put on a regimen of chemo. The surgery went well, but Rusty had to wear the cone, as well as having to be forced to take a long period of rest. Because Rusty is a very energetic character, his rest period had to be chemically enforced. Rusty had to take medicine to make him calm enough to get through his rest period.

But Rusty’s owners Mary and Madeline had an idea to help Rusty get through his recovery, as well as to help fund his medical bills. It was around Halloween, and the two started making creative costume designs out of Rusty’s cone of shame.

They first turned him into a martini with a toothpick and olives made from construction paper. Then they turned his cone into a shark’s head with teeth, eyes, and fins. Then they make him into a “shush puppy” with wadded up, colored packing paper and a straw made from a tube. At one point Rusty found himself transformed into a submarine with a hull and a domed window. He was made into a space alien, a bowling ball, a long list of cocktails, a ghost, and many other outlandish things.

Not surprisingly, Mary and Madeline took some heat from online communities for their creative use of Rusty’s cone. People said it was abusive. They said it was a waste of their time. And sometimes they said truly awful things because- well, this is the Internet. But Mary and Madeline could see that Rusty was having as much fun as they were- and the support, both emotionally and financially, was overwhelming.

Rusty loved the laughs and the attention he was getting and started to really get into his costumes. On top of that, Rusty developed a hearty following on Instagram as his costumes grew wilder and more imaginative.

Eventually, Rusty’s cone was removed and he made a full recovery. While some derided the use of his medical predicament as something to be made fun of, others could see that Rusty was having as much fun as his owners. But perhaps best of all, many other pet owners with pets donning the cone of shame have made a tradition out of dolling up their medically yoked pets.

As for Rusty, he’s somewhat of a pioneer, as well as a cancer survivor. And he still enjoys having creative costumes made for him even though he no longer has his cone for them to be built upon.

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Lifestyle

Blind Golden Retriever Makes Fast Friends With His ‘Seeing Eye’ Companion.

Sherry Rucherman

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If you are a living and breathing human being like us, you hate to see innocent animals suffer. In 2016, Charlie, a golden retriever, would end up losing both of his eyes due to a medical emergency. As an older dog, Charlie didn’t have to grow up without his vision.  Naturally, his owners were concerned about how their dog would adapt to life without being able to see. They knew that they had to do something to help their furry family member, so they decided to adopt a ‘seeing eye’ dog. If you can sense how cute this story is about to be, get ready to grab your tissues. We wouldn’t blame you if you cried from cute joy.

Adam Stipe adopted Charlie when the golden retriever was just a puppy. After nine years together, Charlie ended up losing his left eye due to complications resulting from glaucoma. Within a year, Charlie would lose his right eye, as well. By this time, Adam and his wife Chelsea had emptied their retirement bank account in order to pay for the treatment that had kept Charlie alive. Adam and Chelsea had also recently become pregnant. Talk about sudden life changes! In order to prepare for the baby, as well as better the life of Charlie, they decided to make a change.

When New Year’s Day arrived in 2019, Chelsea and Adam would welcome Maverick into their home. Maverick was an excitable golden retriever puppy who was ready to make new friends. Adam and Chelsea had adopted Maverick for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost, they wanted to bring a puppy home to help Charlie get around the house. Second, Adam and Chelsea also wanted a puppy to grow alongside their newborn baby. While adding a baby and puppy to your house at the same time can be tough, the loving family managed to work it out!

After a bit of tension, Charlie and Maverick would soon become fast friends. In fact, you couldn’t walk around the house with the two golden retrievers running around together. According to Adam and Chelsea, Maverick quickly became a natural ‘guide companion’ for Charlie. Maverick learned to play with and guide Charlie around all without being told. According to Chelsea, “Maverick would realize that Charlie would lose the toy sometimes, so Maverick would pick it up and put it back in front of him to re-engage playtime.”

Due to Maverick’s kindness as well as Charlie’s own loving nature, both dogs have become the best of friends. According to Adam, Charlie has even begun to play like a puppy again. When Charlie was an ‘only dog’, he wouldn’t want to play nearly as much. Despite all the difficulties that life had thrown at Charlie, it is clear that he is being protected, loved, and cared for by the best furry friend anyone could ask for.

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Lifestyle

Couple With 38 Children Spend $52,000 On Groceries Each Year And Don’t Plan On Stopping

Leslie Tander

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In what seems like it should be the latest in a TLC reality television show, a couple from West Virginia has managed to adopt 32 children. 

Jeane and Paul Briggs married back in 1976 after they fell in love with each other at a Christian summer camp. In their first years of marriage, the two had three biological children. But that wasn’t enough for Jeane who always dreamed of having a huge family. Then, in 1985 Jeane got the chance to extend her family one more member. On a mission trip to Mexico, Jeane met and fell in love with a blind orphaned boy named Abraham. There was no turning back at this point for over the next several years, Jeane and Paul would continue to adopt children. 

Jeane started her career as a nurse and often received calls from adoption agencies that asked for advice on more difficult medical cases. This prompted the couple to travel to Russia and Ghana where the children had been abandoned by their parents due to diseases, special needs, deformities like cleft palates, severe autism, and polio.  Additionally, some of the children were aging out of the system and simply had nowhere to go. 

Today, the couple, who spend $52,000 on groceries a year, has 38 children with 25 still living at home with them. 

Of the children that have left, some are in college while the others have gone on to have successful careers. Still others, notably the older children, now have families of their own and look to continue on the family legacy of adopting others.  

Their first adoptee, Abraham, has even started a mission rescue program in his home country of Mexico where he has helped proved hundreds of orphans with safe homes to live. Thanks to Abraham’s life-changing experience of being adopted at a young age, it is no surprise that he’d want to repay the goodwill forward and spend his life dedicated to the children whom, like him, are in desperate need of any help they can get.   

Their other adoptees have begun their own businesses and law practices in cities like New Haven where they work as immigration attorneys to help bring in children from war-torn and unstable countries for a better life in the United States. 

After more than thirty years, the family has stood strong on their philosophy that, with so many people in the world, why continue to have children when you can adopt and give a better life to one of those people who are already on the planet? 

Now in their 60s, it is easy to see how Jeane and Paul Briggs have left a lasting legacy in their small West Virginia community. As a result, they are also the go-to family to ask for advice on how adoption works and whether or not it is a good idea for each individual person. Although, with their own past history of adoption, it would be hard for the couple to dissuade someone against it. 

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