Wyoming report cards include 'weight grade' that upsets parents of overweight kids

Filed under: Health & Safety: Babies, Nutrition: Health

In addition to their grades for math, English, and social studies, students at schools in Gilette, Wyoming are being graded on how fat or thin they are, and this new grading system has some parents upset. The "weight" grade is actually based on each student's mass body index (BMI), a a simple calculation based on a student's height and weight that, according to the school district, indicates whether a student is too fat for his/her own good.

Some parents don't think it's the school's place to be passing judgment on their children's size, and don't appreciate the "free offer" to join a "Strong Kids Club" for those students who exceed the normal range for BMI, in which students will exercise three times a week.

I understand the school district is trying to do something about a serious problem affecting so many young people today, but I have to say this seems like the wrong way to go about it. I remember truly obese kids in my schools growing up, and my recollection is they had things hard enough without getting officially judged by the school and segregated into an exercise program. But I also think the parents getting all defensive is pretty ridiculous too. The school is trying to send a message to these people that they obviously haven't been getting in their day-to-day interactions with their kids. Help them eat less and move more. Spend that energy on helping your kids rather than heaping on the self-righteous indignation.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.