Monday, April 27, 2009

School Weigh-Ins

Sometimes as a long time homeschooling parent I'm clueless as to what happens at school. My friend was telling me how her fourth grade son had been weighed at school and had felt bad about himself since he was the second heaviest boy in his class at 100 lbs. The school had weighed everyone in the school, in front of everyone in their classes. At the time her son was doing the typical kid out and then up thing and has since grown a couple of inches and lost eight pounds so he's now at least personally feeling better about himself. It sounds like his parents handled the damage control about as well as can be expected. This whole thing makes me livid, I have no doubt whatsoever this asinine act on the part of the school has created no less than two cases of eating disorders per classroom. What an absolutely grossly irresponsible thing to do to children just entering the precarious adolescent stage. Do these school officials have no clue? In my opinion they will likely be responsible for at least a couple of eventual deaths, as well as many years of misery.

Unless my child is on the wrestling team there is absolutely no reason they even need to know my child's weight much less actually weigh them at the school. My child's weight is NONE of their freaking business! Why the heck didn't one of the multitude of adults in on this raise any concerns? If this is how incompetent they are with this issue how what else is going on?

Of course there are also labeling concerns with school weigh-ins.

7 comments:

Sexy Witch said...

Believe me this is nothing new. They have been doing it at least since I was in middle school (15+ years). I remember how mortifying it was to be weighed in front of all my classmates. I wanted to crawl into a hole.

Rachel said...

You should contact the school with your concerns and provide them a copy of the new guidelines developed by the Academy of Eating Disorders.

Shannon said...

I remember being weighed in school in 7th grade. That would have been 82 or 83. It was in the gym, in front of everyone. I was one of the fat kids so yeah, it was awful.

On wrestling though, my dh was a wrestler in high school. He told me some of the crazy things they did to make sure they wrestled at the lowest weight class possible. It was like eating disorder 101 to hear him talk.

spacedcowgirl said...

Ugh. I knew school weight tracking was more common than I would like, but anything "official" you can find always emphasizes that it is done with sensitivity, never in front of classmates, kept secret, blah blah blah. This anecdote is not doing anything to allay my suspicions that in reality schools use weighing as a shaming tool (because of course OMG OBESITY is so scary and terrible that any amount of mental damage to kids is a reasonable price to pay to try and shame them out of being fat) and don't care if kids' classmates see or learn their weights. I can only imagine how I would have felt at that age if my peers knew the exact number of my weight rather than just knowing I was fat (which was bad enough).

Cherie said...

Rachel, it wouldn't be my kids' school even if they went to public school but I agree it would be fantastic for EVERYONE in education, the medical field, or even those having to deal with the public in general should be required to read AND adhere to those guidelines.

Shannon, I know the antics of wrestlers trying to get to wrestling weight is craziness and I was in no way defending it. I would REALLY like the sport to find another way to rank the wrestlers rather than at severely dehydrated and starvation weight.

Scattered Marbles said...

I remember going through that, it was humiliating and shameful, worse because they had two weighing stations and then a central table and your name and weight would be yelled from the station to the table where they would write it down. I was already ashamed of the fact I was bigger than my sisters, had already been on WW since the age of 7... I waited in those lines and felt physically ill the whole time.

Ruth said...

That's such a horrible thing to do to a child! Seems to me that schools should be doing a lot more to promote the concept of healthy eating habits without the focus on weight instead of encouraging eating disorders by shaming kids in front of their peers. I seriously think that Linda Bacon's Health at Every Size should be required reading for anyone dealing with kids and weight issues.