When you’re young and your school sends a letter home with you for your parents it’s a little too much to resist opening it. Most times curiosity wins out. Even if the information inside wasn’t meant for you.
That’s exactly what Gwendolyn Williams, a 9-year-old from Staten Island, did when her school sent home a letter to her mother last week. The letter was a FitnessGram and was meant to inform Williams mother that she was overweight. Williams weighs 66 pounds. She is 4 feet 1 inch tall and according to the school her Body Mass Index was 19 – just over the average criteria for someone her size. The school sends the notices at the end of the school year as part of a city-wide program that measures the health of its students.
Even though students were not supposed to open the letters many of them did. Her mother, Laura, learned about the letter when she was tucking her daughter in bed when she told her mother that her school thought she was fat. He mother was upset after learning the letters were sent home with the students and says that reading the letters could effect student’s self-image. They were sealed closed with a sticker. Her mother said she contacted the principals office about the incident and was told that her daughter should have delivered the letter unopened.
The BMI, Body Mass Index. was designed by the insurance industry as a way of assessing the health of groups of people, not individuals said a representative from the Binge Eating Disorder Association.
The Department Of Education sends the letters home as a way to inform parents so they can be aware of any growing problem and stay on top of obesity and fitness issues that should be addressed.