By: Krystle Crossman
The New York City Department of Education has made the front page of the New York Post but it is not good news. They are currently under fire for calling a third grader overweight. One of the reasons that this is becoming big news is because this third grade girl is thin and trim. She stands at 4’7” and is a whopping 66 pounds. The average for her age and weight is 65 pounds. The NYC Department of Education has determined that she is “overweight”. Her mother is furious.
The department has been sending letters home with students that are called “Fitnessgrams”. It is part of an annual fitness program that they run. Mother Laura Bruji Williams said that one day her daughter came home with one of these “Fitnessgrams” that stated that her daughter was overweight. Her daughter had read the letter before she got home even though they told the students that they should not read them. Her mother is furious and says that if they didn’t want the kids looking at them they should have mailed them directly instead. Her daughter is thin and healthy and now she has someone telling her at just 9 years old that she is overweight.
Williams said that when her daughter came home with the letter she didn’t really understand it fully but pinched some skin around her midsection and asked her mother if that was what they meant in the letter. She stated that it was horrible to see her daughter even have to ask that question. Some of her daughter’s friends had letters that said they were obese and they were crying over it. What kind of message does this send to today’s youth? How do you psychologically move on from something like that when you are so young?
Chevese Turner, a spokesperson for the Bing Eating Disorder Association, spoke out against the fitness program. She stated that this can be very damaging to a young girl and that dieting is a gateway to eating disorders when they are so young.