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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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Life

Could There Be Answers to the Famed Peanut Allergy on the Horizon?

Mackenzie Freeman

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Peanuts are incredibly delicious as they permeate candy, condiments, snacks, and numerous other parts of the food industry. At the same time, peanuts also contribute to one of the most common food allergies on the face of the Earth. Those who are allergic to peanuts often have deadly allergies, known as anaphylaxis. This reaction can cause someone to stop breathing if they even simply inhale some of the dust associated with peanuts. As a result, many kids have to carry around an EpiPen that might be needed to save their life. Therefore, peanuts, peanut oil, peanut butter, peanut chocolate, and more can pose a serious health risk. Indeed, some kids will never know the delicious taste of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Some people might even be shocked to hear that peanuts can be found in potato chips, icing, and more! It is hard for people who have severe food allergies to have a normal life. Furthermore, peanut allergies have actually been becoming more common. Many schools have even banned peanuts to protect their students from harm. This is a drastic, but necessary, measure in the eyes of many people.

Now, there might be an answer for those who have been waiting for what seems like forever. Scientists from Australia have recently announced that they might have found an answer to this common problem. A team of researchers have been using a novel treatment method called immunotherapy to help children get over their allergies to peanuts. In this treatment option, patients are intentionally exposed to something that they have a serious reaction to. In this case, that item would be peanuts. Of course, this exposure takes place in a controlled setting to minimize the potential health risks that might come with an intentional allergic reaction.

When children in this experiment are exposed to peanuts, the immune system reacts. After all, this is the basis of an allergic reaction. Over time, the body is exposed to doses in higher and higher amounts. With the right treatment, the body learns to handle the reaction and the allergic reaction gradually subsides. This is called tolerance. Essentially, the body “gets used” to the peanuts. In this clinical trial, which lasted for 18 months, about four out of every five children who were involved in the trial had developed a tolerance to peanuts. Now, five years later, most of the kids who devleoped a tolerance are still eating peanuts to this day. This represents a breakthrough in the field of medicine that has the potential to help children all over the world who suffer from severe peanut allergies.

It can be exhausting for parents and children to go around constantly wondering if they are going to be exposed to peanuts that might lead to an allergic reaction. It can be hard to carry around an EpiPen every day. Now, there might be a way to get around this problem. At the same time, this is only one study. There is still a long way to go and parents should not go around giving their peanut-allergic children allergens to force a reaction. The next step is to try to replicate the results of this study on a larger scale. Then, this therapy needs to reach the open market to be distributed. At the same time, this study still represents a tremendous hope for those who suffer from allergies. If the results of this study can be replicated on a larger scale, it might provide a way to help people who suffer from food allergies.

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Life

Happiness Is: When the Kids Grow Up and Move Out of the House

Leslie Tander

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Research tells us that people with children are happier overall than single adults. Why? For a number of reasons, including:

  • Parents don’t have to worry about being alone.
  • Children are evidence of a legacy in this world, and they give parents a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
  • Parents are happier knowing that they have someone to take care of and provide for them in their old age.

However, according to Fartherly.com, the parent’s happiness that exceeds the happiness of single people won’t be realized until these parents become empty nesters, and the kids actually move out of the house. Parents have to daily practice delayed gratification and wait decades before their ultimate happiness blossoms.

But still, is it all worth it? Is sacrificing your youth for decades worth any measure of happiness you might experience later in life?

Yes, according to a study from The Daily Positive, where questions were asked of patients in a terminal palliative care unit. One of the top ten regrets that dying patients had was that of not having children. The research stated:

“With today’s modern thinking, kids may be viewed as inconveniences or hindrances to pursuing your goals. But keep in mind that your children will be the ones to show you love when you are old. They will also be the ones to whom you will entrust everything you’ve worked hard for after you’re gone.” (Top 10 Regrets When You’re Dying, Dale Partridge)

Geraldine had a difficult time raising six children as a single mom in Texas. She often worked multiple jobs while sewing on the side to make extra money. Life was difficult, but with a mind made up, every one of Geraldine’s children grew up, finished school, and made a life for themselves.

When all the children were out of the house, Geraldine began enjoying her life by traveling, modeling, and sewing for fun. On her 65th birthday, her three daughters took her to Hawaii. At the airport, Geraldine ran into Mrs. Phelps, an upstanding career woman in the community who had all the trapping of success, but no family.

Geraldine worked for Mrs. Phelps for over 15 years as her cleaning lady. Mrs. Phelps was in her late 60s, but the onset of Parkinson’s disease made her look 15 years older. When she saw Geraldine, Mrs. Phelps gave a convenient hello, but Geraldine’s energy and bubbly personality took over the conversation as she introduced her daughters and enthusiastically told Mrs. Phelps about going to Hawaii for her birthday.

“Wow, sounds like you’re going to have a great time,” Mrs. Phelps said longingly. “I don’t have any family. I never had kids.”

“While you were busy working, I was busy having babies,” Geraldine said. “Now my children are taking me on vacation for the time of my life. I thank God that I made the better choice.”

Geraldine’s story illustrates what researchers have told us: having children makes parents happier than singles later on in life when the kids move out of the house. The time invested in parenting makes the post empty nester season in life all worth it.

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Life

Dad Films Zoo Tiger Attacking & Getting Stopped

Leslie Tander

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When a boy goes to the zoo with his dad, especially under the age of 10, he typically expects to see big animals in cages, hear a lion roar, see walruses and seals, and watch elephants pick up things with their trunks. There might even be session watching chimps and gorillas move around from branch to branch. What he and his father do not expect or have on their mutual agenda is for junior to become the next snack target of a full-grown tiger.

Tigers are not dumb animals. They are exceptionally geared to hunt and take advantage of opportunity to keep themselves fed in the wild. Even in a zoo, where there wellbeing and food sources are taken care of, the instinct innate within a tiger’s mind is constantly operating and working. So, when 7-year-old Sean decided to stand in front of the containment window to the tiger’s den and his father was filming him, neither expected what happened next.

The father and son went to the Dublin zoo for the holidays as a good time off and bonding session opportunity. The personal camera filming starts off with Sean smiling to his dad while turning back quickly to look at the tiger in the far part of the den. The cat sees the boy and is already in motion moving forward but it freezes when the boy looks at the tiger. As soon as Sean turn around again to look at the camera, the tiger rockets forward with claws extended fully expecting to catch the boy and apply a killing bite on his back. It’s only at the very last second that the tiger senses that something is between it and the child, skidding to crash into the barrier wall that keeps the tiger contained. However, the thud into the clear wall and the clawed paws and teeth were enough to make Sean jump away for safety while his father filmed the entire event.

As far as Sean’s father is concerned, the social media verse is probably taking sides whether he kept his cool continuing the filming or whether he should have grabbed his son. Sean probably had a few nightmares the next night or two afterwards as well. Either way, the tiger attack was likely not going to be something either of them forgot anytime soon. And it’s probably likely Sean’s mother gave his father a good whacking on the back of the head for letting the boy anywhere that close to the tiger’s den in the first place, even with the obviously effective barrier for safety. Moms are like that.

For the rest of us, Sean’s furry friend at the zoo gives us all a good reminder that animals a fundamentally wild and remain that way. They don’t switch to Disney characters simply because they now live at a zoo. It’s something everyone should accept and understand clearly, but every year there’s a story of some knucklehead going into a cage or den to pet the animal because it seems so sedate and calm. It’s enough to make anyone wonder what would happen if “survival of the fittest” did apply to humans.

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