Should High School Students Have to Post Their Name with Weight & BMI on the School Chalkboard?

One of my friend’s, Andrea Owen, shared this story with me about what happened at West Ranch High School in Valencia, CA last week. It’s unbelievable…

This is part of a note from Carrie (via Andrea Owen).

“I have a girl who works for me, who is a senior in high school. She’s a total rock star. She came to work today with a cranberry juice drink, and I asked her what it was and what she was doing. It looked suspiciously like a fast and she’s a slim girl to start with. She told me that their AP Anatomy teacher had them all measure their BMI and their Body Fat and write it on the board with their name and that they get 10% extra credit on their final if they can all lose 10% of their body fat in the next two weeks. She told me that the class is really hard and that she needs the extra credit. She told me that she asked if it was okay to just put male/female and the numbers instead of putting down their names because one of her friends in the class is overweight and was embarrassed. He said that they had to put their names. She told me that five girls left the class crying and that some of the boys were taking pictures of the data with their phones and she thinks they’re going to put it on Facebook.”

Can you believe that business? That doesn’t exactly provide a healthy stress-free learning environment for all of the children. Not only does this seem like a privacy violation, but the teacher displays very poor taste. I can’t believe he was letting students take pictures of everyone’s weight and BMI. Also, I highly doubt all kids in the class need to lose 10% BMI. What about those who are already thin, but feel the need to lose weight to make the grade? Losing 10% BMI in two weeks could be dangerous.

A person’s weight and BMI should have nothing to do with the grade they receive in class–ever. Also, I cannot think of one good reason to make it mandatory to put their names, weight, and BMI on the chalkboard.

If you had a high school aged child who came home and told you this, what would your reaction be?

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. The Beheld
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 07:00:19

    This can’t be for real, can it? What anatomy question tells students to lose a dangerous amount of weight in two weeks? (A 150-pound student would have to lose 15 pounds in two weeks, or rather a pound a day.)

    If this story is for real the teacher needs to be reported. If it’s not, somebody needs to have a talk with that girl about her eating disorder (ED patients will come up with incredible lies to cover their tracks).


  2. MCG ESQ
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 07:40:51

    OMG, that is pure insanity. If I lost 10% of my body weight in high school (I was thin) I would be sick! what kind of crazy teacher would make a kid do that for extra credit? What ever happened to papers?


  3. Myra Elwell
    Apr 05, 2011 @ 08:45:28

    Point blank, I wouldn’t be thinking the girl had an eating disorder. That is blaming the victim and punishing them for the crime they didn’t commit and *THAT* is what leads young girls to eating disorders. They are victimized and then an adult authority figure tells them it was all thier fault so they need to change to make it right. That’s complete and utter horse manure.
    I would be up in the principal’s face, demanding to know why a teacher with such obvious disregard to the physical, emotional and mental health and well-being of minor children was employed in the school district. Then I would be demanding answers from the school board and superintendent regarding their policies and procedures in hiring, school health policies and violation of privacy policies. But then, I’m kind of ruthless like that after 12 years of dealing with a school district that tends to classify ADHD as mental retardation and tried to *force* me to medicate my child. I *tried* being tactful and diplomatic for the first few years. However, teachers and faculty don’t want to deal with socialization problems and mostly, in my district at least, want to take the easiest path out. To the point that in my daughter’s last high school, a budding sexual predator was protected, not his victims, and when my daughter fought back, they tried to have *her* arrested for defending herself from a stalker who was trying to rape her. So, something like a teacher doing what was described here would have been met with “the teacher was doing his job and that’s just high school” and my next step would have been to raise holy hell with other parents and the school board to the point it got media attention.
    Unfortunately, not enough parents are willing to cross that line. They are afraid of putting their children thru emotional hardship, or themselves or having to go through the difficulty these situations bring. They spent years teaching their children to fit in and conform and not rock the boat.
    I didn’t. I raised a very independent, very strong willed girl and encouraged her to think for herself, question and always search for the answers she wanted. If something doesn’t sound or feel right, she’s the first one to stand up and say “Why should I do this and because you told me to is not a good enough answer. You need to explain your reasons to me.”. I’ve spent a lot of time in the principal’s office over this and then when I tell the teacher she offended “She’s right. You do need to explain your reasons. And now you can explain them to me and keep in mind if you don’t, I will be filing a request for a hearing with the school board.”.
    Sometimes, it’s hard to keep a straight face at the expressions of shock over this. It occurs to me that it is also very sad that it is a shock to them, because that means that our children have been the victims of a subtle kind of bullying for decades. One that has been sanctioned by adults.
    What does that say?


  4. Sheri Ervine Smith
    Apr 11, 2011 @ 12:44:08

    Completely and utterly ridiculous. If that was my child’s assignment, I wouldn’t rest until I had that teacher shut down – no matter how far up the district ladder I’d have to climb.


  5. Barb
    Apr 20, 2011 @ 13:09:37

    I tell kids that as School is to Kids: Work is to Adults.
    Would adults be treated in such a manner?
    Thanks for such an all-encompassing parenting blog.


  6. ExperimentalMom
    Apr 20, 2011 @ 21:59:06

    The teacher obviously has no idea how traumatizing it is to have weight and bmi displayed publicly, especially for a teen. I was not overweight in high school and this would have embarrassed me to no end. Hopefully none of the students in the class have eating disorders, as this would be extremely triggering.


  7. Dock
    Apr 21, 2011 @ 07:31:42

    Vente viagra – la posologie est faible – 100 mg, en partie en raison de sa bonne tolerance, et ce.


  8. whatsaysyou
    Jun 10, 2011 @ 05:52:05

    Absolutely not. A BMI is not an accurate measurement of a child’s healthy weight target.


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