Monday, May 26, 2014
Mom Upset That 9-Year-Old Girl Brought “Overweight” Notice Home From School
Great video, please see the kids reaction to letter. http://www.nbcnewyork.com/video/#!/on-air/as-seen-on/Mom-Upset-That-9-Year-Old-Girl-Brought-Overweight-Notice-Home-From-School/260472731
The mother of a third-grade girl says she’s upset that the city Department of Education sent home a health assessment in her daughter’s book bag that categorizes the 9-year-old as “overweight.” Roseanne Colletti reports. Each year, 870,000 New York City public school students in kindergarten through grade 12 are handed their Fitnessgram assessments and told to bring them home without peeking inside.
Laura Bruij Williams says her daughter, Gwendolyn Williams, looked at hers, and asked her about it one night while getting ready for bed at their Staten Island home. Gwendolyn is 4 feet 1 inch tall and weighs 66 pounds.
The analysis said her Body Mass Index is “overweight.” “She said ‘Mom, school told me that I’m overweight,'” Williams told NBC 4 New York. “I was very angry and upset because I don’t want this to be the kind of thing that sticks with her.”
The Department of Education says the assessments are “based on whether an individual student is in the Healthy Fitness Zone for their age and sex.” They are supposed to be sealed and given to parents only, so that the adults can start conversations with their kids about good eating habits and exercise. Williams, who says her daughter is active and healthy, said she would have preferred the assessment be given directly to parents so that children aren’t even tempted to look. She said a friend of Gwendolyn’s was in tears about her assessment. “I think they should be sent to parents, mailed home or have them finished for conferences,” Williams said.
Sometimes we think magazines and media portraying extremely thin girls and women result in body image issues. I have not seen any studies yet know first hand how it feels to have a warped sense of your body. I had unhealthy body image issues by fifth grade and dreaded P.E. class. I was probably 10 pounds under weight but wanted to look like my Farrah poster. I would not take part in sports because I imagined how fat I looked in the short shorts running track or playing basketball. I think most teacher’s understand the pressure on all kids today. This school and Teacher became part of the problem. Talk to the school Principle and Teacher to discuss their process for communicating with parents. If you feel the process it lacking or potentially harmful to your child let them know. Then write a letter to School Board addressing concerns. I would be the soft-spoken mother who loses it, the school is bullying the kids and parents. The scars on the kids that can last a lifetime. Not all parents would recognize weight issues that young and could miss an opportunity to save their kids and themselves much grief. You pay taxes for your child’s education, speak up and hold school accountable.