Parents Express Outrage Over Letter From School Board

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My husband and I were OUTRAGED when we received a letter in the mail from the Board of Education telling us that our son is Obese!!!

First of all I don't think that it is the school system's place to tell parents that their children are overweight. Second the letter said that I need to limit his time watching TV and playing video games and also to watch what he eats.....ok so my son plays Football, Baseball and Basketball year round, he's constantly on the go.

And as far as what he eats, don't even get me started..... School lunch menu - Pizza, French fries maybe even some corn to go with that and ice cream or cake, hey maybe even both if you bring extra $ (yeah carbs on top of carbs and a little sugar with that, that's a healthy diet. Good thing we tax payers pay Dietitians to tell us that.).

Since you do not know my son he is almost 10 years old 5 ft. tall and weighs 120 lbs.. Yes he is bigger than others but he is VERY active and healthy. If his doctor is not concerned than the local and Federal GOVERNMENT needs to mind their own business and use that $30 billion on something more important!!!!!!

My mother and father are both retired school teachers and they too were outraged by this, it is amazing to me how different school systems have become these days. It seems that even our schools are becoming commercialized, just look at the lovely approved 28 page "healthy snack" list on the website. Since when did ice cream bars, cookies and snack cakes become a healthy snack? I am beginning to understand why so many people home school their kids now.

Petrina Hill

EDITOR'S NOTE: To provide context to the above letter, the Cannon Courier requested, and received, a copy of the letter sent to the parents of some students. It follows:

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Members Opinions:
March 02, 2010 at 7:40pm
The school board has no right to tell you your child is OBESE! What's it to them if he's overweight... There's alot more people than just him in this county that's obese! If he's in sport than it probably muscle!
March 02, 2010 at 8:44pm
First of all how dare they tell you your child is overweight. Secondly there are many reasons people in general can be overweight. Speaking from someone that is currently and has been overweight all of my life, heredity can play a big role in obesity. They need to start changing the school menu before they try to dictate what we feed our children at home and understand its not just what they are eating or doing. With all the hormones they put in healthy food (like milk)what do they expect. When they start paying for our graoceries then maybe they can dictate how we eat! Just my opinion.
March 02, 2010 at 9:07pm
I, for one, believe the school system does Cannon County a great service by notifying parents of any concerns relating to our children’s health (e.g. BMI, vision, hearing, dental, blood pressure). When I was a child, a vision/hearing screening at my school discovered that I had near-sighted vision. Fortunately, my mother was not “OUTRAGED” when she got the letter detailing my vision problems, and instead opted to have an eye doctor prescribe me glasses. The school system is not telling this parent what to feed their child; they are simply communicating a concern they have for the student, and it is up to the parent to decide if further action is required.
March 02, 2010 at 9:47pm
Perhaps one option would be healthier meals prepared by the wonderful lunch ladies who do work very hard in the schools. What about school gardens where both kids, parents and teachers help to grow food, and teach nutrition and healthy eating? The easy availability of high carb foods, sugary drinks and fast food in the county versus fresh food that is home grown could be a reason for the fact that the obesity rates in Cannon County and Tennessee in general are higher than many places.
March 02, 2010 at 10:04pm
lol the bmi calculations used are absolutely ridicoulus. according to these calculations everyone is suppose to be bean poles it doesn't take in account bone structure at all. For a man 35 yrs old at 6'3" 170 to 180 is ideal according to body mass index. Do you know how skinny that is lol.
March 03, 2010 at 5:53am
My goodness-we have the government making us drive at a certain speed, stop at some intersections, wear set belts to reduce our injuries in a crash, prohibiting us from carrying guns in schools and government buildings, and even paying taxes to fund all sorts of programs like schools. And now they want us to take a look at our children and see if perhaps they have a problem that could lead to future health problems--just who do they think they are anyway--

Sounds like a HELL of a good idea to me--keep it up and thanks you school system for doing so!
March 03, 2010 at 8:19am
With health care being a major concern these days and what can be done about it, education needs to begin at early ages. The School board performed a health screening based on educated doctors general concentes of what is the norm. This is not always correct, but a warning letter from the school should have a concerned parent to check on their child. Diabeties would be something that could be prevented in the future if detected early. Because of expensive health care a lot of parents can not afford to have check ups for their children nor feel a concern to do so. Without such a letter, some children never would be looked at until to late. Once a parent received such a letter, before getting mad, ask yourself the question, am I mad because someone else thinks they know my child better than I do, or does the school board have a concern for our children?
March 03, 2010 at 9:41am
What if your spouse's employer sent you a letter telling you that your spouse was overweight and that you needed to monitor him/her? Why don't we monitor overweight teachers and make that a litmus test for employment? I'll tell you why - it's none of our business!
March 03, 2010 at 9:54am
The solution is better lunches at school and that is as much as they should do!!!! Stop interfering in our lives..this is a free country.
March 03, 2010 at 5:14pm
How DARE the school system be concerned about the health of children and how DARE the school system suggest that you pull your child out from behind the TV to get some physical activity.

As for the school lunches, a lot of children would refuse to eat anything healthy at school because they don't know what healthy food is. But if you are really that concerned about the school's lunch menu, why don't you take a little initiative and get up about 10 minutes earlier and prepare them a healthy lunch.

I know its the school system's job to raise, feed and discipline your kids, but maybe the least you could do is prepare a healthy lunch for your child at home.
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