Thursday, January 20, 2005


I’m looking for good news for you. Really.

This ain’t it.

Texas is considering adding kids’ BMI to their report cards.

Arkansas was planning to do the same thing last year, until a near riot among parents made the school district decide to send home private letters (at what cost I do not want to know) to parents instead. These letters told parents their kids’ weight, height, and BMI, and then added information about whether the child was “at risk” for obesity.

I’m not exactly opposed to this – it’s just collecting data – except that this was all the school district did.

They didn’t change what they were feeding kids in the school lunch room (a steady diet of chicken nuggets, pizza, corn dogs, tater tots, and cookies – the only vegetable ever served was corn).

They didn’t increase gym classes or recess time.

They didn’t stop selling candy and ice cream to the students after school every single day, as part of their school funding.

They didn’t take the soda machines out of the school hallways.

Nope. They just reported the data. Just set the students up to fail and then humiliated them for failing.

Now Texas is planning to do the same thing – and to spend how much money doing it?

I can think, off-hand, of about eighty better ways to spend that money in the public school system.

1 comment:

zelda1 said...

I couldn't resist adding my two cents worth. My grandson, who is tall and lean, recieved his BMI report card. The report said he had the potential to be overweight. How does that work. You look at a tall thin kid, who has tall thin parents, and you decide that even though he isn't fat now, he will be. Hmmm. At the same school, there is a child that was well over 200 pounds and his mother took him out of school because the teachers and the other students tormented him about his weight. As a result, he is now getting an inferrior education, no exercise, no social interaction, and is home alone while his mother sleeps. (works the night shift)
If Arkansas was so hell bent on making a difference, there should have been some kind of intervention over this little boy. If a child has behavior problems, they give him every bit of a chance of an education by putting them in special classes. Same if there are children that are mentally disabled, yet this child is not only denied help but is essential bullied out of school. What is the point? Let's test children and when we find something leave it alone. That's the American way. Collect information to file, or better yet, collect information to make more labels, and then we can put more information in those little categories so there can be reports that announce which race has the fattest people, which geographic region ect.... Reminds me of my first grade class. I wanted to be a blue bird. I knew I read well enough enough to be a blue bird, but the yellow birds were the other children like me. We came to school in not so new clothes, from homes that had more children than food, and our mothers were usually not involved. By the time the teacher realized how well I read, she shoved me quickly to the blue birds where only two other students were members. Both children were products of other teachers. I out read them and soon had to go across the hall for my reading. That is what the BMI is doing. Fat kids or potentially fat kids will only be looked at differently by their not so smart elementary teachers.