Home Education Opinion: School-sanctioned ‘fat shaming’ unacceptable

Opinion: School-sanctioned ‘fat shaming’ unacceptable

4 min read

For the past five years, the focus on weight and physical appearance have been at all-new heights. There are more overweight people in America now than ever before. It has entered political discourse and has even reached the thoughts of First Lady Michelle Obama. Now, the idea of solving this “weight crisis” has reached its limit.

In Los Angeles public schools, teachers are sending notes home to parents of preschool students stating that the child is overweight. The schools base their conclusions on weight charts and Body Mass Indexes. From those results, they determine whether or not the child will be given a letter. This policy will start in October of this year.

Not only is the child sent home with a letter, but there are pamphlets and brochures about how to live a healthy lifestyle. They also include ways to make sure that the children are eating healthy. The school district calls these letters “healthy or unhealthy” letters; the children refer to them as “fat letters.”

First there was Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York, who wanted to restrict the amount of soda that someone could purchase in a store; now there’s this. What is so repulsive is that the schools are indirectly insulting the parents. The districts are practically saying that the parents do not raise their children correctly based on their eating habits.

What is even worse is that the districts are also degrading the children’s self esteem. It is already assumed that children will be mocked or ridiculed at a young age if they are overweight. These districts are re-enforcing the bullies; they are practically bullying the children as well. The last thing that a school should be doing is contributing to decreasing the self-esteem of a child.

This has reached the breaking point. The government and schools should not even be considering the weight of children or the nation. What the schools should do instead is find a way to increase the graduation and literacy rate of the young generation, not improve what their students look like. The government should be focused more on the crisis in Syria and the horrid economy rather than the students’ weight problems. It is the people’s choice to eat the way they do. If they want to be lazy and look the way they do, let them do it. It is their choice.

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  1. Natalia Radic

    September 8, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    So let’s all just be obese, get heart disease and drive up the cost of health care because it’s our prerogative. Let’s eat McDonald’s. Let’s eat genetically-modified food filled with high fructose corn syrup. Let’s just eliminate recess for grade school children and let’s have them play computer games during that time instead. And surely we should never teach nutrition in SCHOOL, because that’s just absurd.

    Please. Children have very little control over what they eat: it is primarily the parents/caregivers and schools that feed our nation’s young. Considering schools get limited funding for lunch programs, it is up to parents to make sure that their kids are healthy. And if your kid isn’t healthy, you should know about it. Whether it’s a letter or a pamphlet or both, someone needs to tell parents that they are feeding their children crap and should consider buying better groceries, if they have the means.

    Maybe if parents knew that their children were obese enough to be getting bullied in school, they’d change their diets and encourage exercise.


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