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Was School Right to “lunch shame” a Mother?

By: Krystle Crossman

Schools are becoming more and more intrusive when it comes to what parents are giving their children for lunches. Leeza Pearson of Aurora, Colorado found this out the hard way when she packed Oreos along with her daughter’s lunch. She had run out of fruits and veggies which she normally packs for her 4 year old daughter so she threw some Oreos in the lunch bag. When her daughter came home from school the cookies were still in her bag along with a note from the school which read:

“Dear Parents, 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 was appalled at the way that the school chose to handle this. Her daughter was not allowed to eat what was brought with her and instead of letting her eat the cookies and then calling Pearson to let her know about the policy they chose to send the letter telling her how to feed her child instead. Pearson stated that her daughter’s nutrition is between her and her doctor and that it is not up to the school to decides how she feeds her. The school claimed that they offered a healthy alternative to the girl but the girl stated this was not true and she was hungry when she came home. Pearson said she also packed a sandwich and string cheese for her lunch that day.

Even though the school is looking out for the health of the students Pearson says that they need to be more consistent about their policies or follow them themselves. She states that whenever they have a holiday party the children are asked to bring in candy or other items like cupcakes and cookies. She also says that her daughter is given jelly beans as a snack in the afterschool program.

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