Saturday, October 13, 2007

Dear Parent: Your Kid Is Fat - Sincerely, The Principal

Just in case Denver Public school parents hadn't been paying attention to their child's physique, their local school is letting them know that their kids are fat, and what's incredible is that the notices are being sent home with the kids in their backpacks.

Parents were concerned that such sensitive information was being sent home casually along with other notices. They could have been dropped on the street and picked up by other students. There has been much controversy about this practice.
"[One] mother does not have a problem with what the schools are trying to do. She says that type of sensitive information should be mailed directly home to parents, because kids are prone to reading letters sent home by the schools.

"If [my daughter] would have dropped this letter, a student may have found it and may have exposed it to other students," said [the mother]. "Anything specific to the child should be mailed. It should not be given to the child."

One child read the notice and got rather upset.
Gee, now that's could be a great way to create a bunch of anorexic kids.

Junk Food Science talks a bit about how wrong it is to make our kids so crazy over their weight, and that we shouldn't make them obsess over food. Here is one such post.

I am not disputing that childhood obesity - and even adult obesity - is a problem, but so is creating kids who are too mindful of their body image, and what they eat or don't eat. We also have too many young kids who are "on a diet". That's not healthy either.

Now the $64,000 question is this: Should the school be involved in a child's health in this manner at all? (Isn't it bad enough that they have gotten into the mental health business as well?) I wonder if schools can be considered practicing medicine without a license by doing these kinds of screenings.

I think we have an issue of whether or not schools should meddle in our children's health like this. Is it their place to do so? Do they think that parents do not know that their kids are fat - or even too skinny? Is this school also sending home notes to parents whose kids are too thin?

And here are a few other questions running through my head.
Whose job is it to raise your children? What happens to parents who ignore those notices? Is poor nutrition child abuse? Will it be considered so? What do you think?