Friday, October 12, 2007

School sends home obesity notices with students, parent upset

God is this a great example of the PC world.
We have to keep every one's self esteem high, no matter what....
No matter how PC you want to be, at some point people need to hear the truth.
If your fat, you need to hear it. You should feel bad about it, that is how people get better.
You should feel bad that you have 3 kids and your 18.
You should be told if you suck at basketball.
Because you know what happens? You either work hard and get better, or one day you get cut from you HS team after being told how great you are for 15 years, then you don't know how to handle it, so you start shooting people.
Kids need to be taught how to deal with criticism, and hardship, and the real world.
I hear it all the time. College professors tell me that the new crop of kids can't handle being told what they did was not very good. What are these kids going to do when they don't get the first 25 jobs they apply for?
This whole PC/self-esteem issue has gone way to far.
It is sad a school has to be the one to tell kids they are fat.

quote from the article:
"The part that upset her the most as she started reading it, there it stated that she was overweight and she started to cry saying, 'Mom, that school tells me I'm fat.' So, it was very heart wrenching," said Flaurette Martinez.
So what! If she is fat, her mom should have been telling her as well, making her exercise and join sports, and have a better diet...
The one problem with this story is that they use BMI to measure obesity. Anyone who knows anything about this topic will agree BMI is a very poor measure of actual obesity. Just about every athlete in college and many pro sports is considered obese because it does not take into account muscle mass at all.


Jason H. Bowden said...

I'm all for ending John Dewey-style child-centered education. However, telling parents the obvious about the obesity of their children is not the business of the public school system. Our rotten Hollywood-oriented culture is way too obsessed with appearances as it is.

Schools should pay attention to things like reading, writing, and arithmetic for a change.

hashfanatic said...


These sorts of judgements are outside of education's rational boundaries.

Realism said...

I think it's great. I think that we should adopt a "Brave New World" vision of education, where control of the children is placed entirely in the hands of the state for complete, education.

That way, they can be fully instilled with the virtues of Consumerism, Conformity, Nationalism and Fear.

Jason H. Bowden said...


Do you ever consider your side does the bulk of the indoctrinating in our schools?

Granted, many people will give up socialist beliefs, even if they are unaware of the socialist character of the beliefs, after they exit the school system and live in the world on their own. But the purpose of a liberal education ultimately is to teach people how to think, not what to think.

Marshall Art said...

In principle I agree with what Jason says. Where I disagree on this particular incident is the fact that obesity is serious stuff. This is beyond any attempts to mirror the Hollywood image of physiques, but a concern for the health of the child. If they were to say simply that a child is a little chubby, that's one thing. But obesity is a different matter and frankly, I feel it is way to close to child abuse to allow a child to get so dangerously out of shape. I also don't think schools should have to deal with the possible heart attacks or other health catastrophies that are like time bombs due to the poor health choices of the kid and the irresponsibility of the kid's parents. This notice could be a way to both warn the parents of the dangers of poor health, as well as to reduce the potential for litigation should the worst case scenario take place on school property. I'm for it.

American said...

I agree that there are many out there who are fat because they either lack personal discipline (what they eat and how much they excercise) or by genes. I personally know individuals who are fat even after trying everything possible.

When it comes to kids, there is another important factor: Lack of good parenting. So, in this case,if school really cares about these kids, they should probably talk to the parents first and go forward.

And, I agree with Jason: The Hollywood culture has made it almost a 'crime' to be overweight.

hashfanatic said...

In my neighborhood, a lot of the neighbor's kids overindulge their kids and chauffeur them everywhere, even to school!

This is not good...yes, of course there is crime and pedophiles out there, but then you as a parent are giving in to rhyme or reason, and what are actually irrational fears of your own. Evil is not EVERYWHERE and your kids should be taught how to defend themselves anyway.

The foods kids get at home and when they are out is a problem as well, but it's harder to change the sort of eating habits some of us have let ourselves into....being more physically active (not sports but WALKING) is a much easier and quicker way to see a loss in weight.

We, as a people, should NOT look for excuses. Nobody forces you to have a Big Mac or a Cinnabon...

Hmm. I'm hungry.:)

hashfanatic said...

"And, I agree with Jason: The Hollywood culture has made it almost a 'crime' to be overweight."

On the other hand, besides the skeletal "Kate Moss" types, who think look like junkies and I'd never want to hit anyway, what's really different about Hollywood now, and fifty years ago?

blamin said...

Marshall, I agree with much you say, but (the big “but”), even though many would consider this a form of “child abuse”, it’s not the states place to make an issue of this.

Where would it stop? Parents smoking in the house? Eating at McD’s too much? A refusal to allow your child to watch bogus global warming “scare” films? Not being a member of the knee-jerk political party?

No, as much as I’d love to shake a few parents until their head rattled, the state has no business involving themselves in this.

Unless, we’re willing to involve the state in a whole lot more.

I’d start with mandatory classes in critical thought. But we all know, that will never happen. After all, we can’t have thinking, questioning individuals in society. How would our ingrained indoctrination system survive with such rouges?

blamin said...


who are fat because… or by genes. I personally know individuals who are fat even after trying everything possible.”

I doubt it! People whom are fat because of “genes” are extremely, and I mean “extremely” rare. The chance that you would know one person afflicted, is almost impossible, the chance that you would know more than one (“individuals”) is, frankly, unbelievable. Unless of course you’re some kind of counselor for genetic anomalies; which I highly doubt, considering the substance of your usual comments.

Of course there are people that are “predisposed” to gaining weight easier than others, which just means they have to try harder, because they certainly haven’t tried “everything possible”. After all, weight loss has a very simple mathematical solution, you simply (of course “simply” does not equal “easily”) consume fewer calories than you “spend”, until reaching optimum weight, then you consume equal calories to “what you spend”..

I agree with you, Marshall, and Jason. Lack of good parenting is the major factor in this epidemic !!!

But - have you noticed how time after time a consensus is reached about bad parenting being the cause of certain societal problems?

Why do we have so much bad parenting in today’s society? What is the root cause of bad parenting? (History, cause, and effect are often useful in solving problems) Why do many parents continue destructive habits, even after being confronted (if not bombarded) with facts?

The answers are very clear to any that are paying attention.

Jason H. Bowden said...

"The answers are very clear to any that are paying attention."

Well, my answer is going to differ than the standard conservative answer. I blame modern capitalism.

Yes, I said that. I blame capitalism.

We are all inundated with a universal mediascape that overemphasizes the experience of sensations at the expense of other parts of the soul. People want to be liberated from past and future, tradition, religion, family, imagination, custom, habit, convention, all for the sheer immediacy of the present.

In addition, unlike people of past eras, we can obtain almost anything we want in the market. This encourages a selfish attitude, the idea that we are entitled to everything, and responsible for nothing. The high tempo of economic growth in a capitalist society magnifies the effect-- people today literally believe we can control the climate.

The tragedy is that our social lives are the product of evolution, a process that has taken literally centuries to evolve. Once we try to tear apart the social fabric, we cannot put Humpty Dumpty back together. The idea that we can find overnight solutions to problems created by our own mischief is just another symptom of a deeper spiritual disease.

In short, I agree with Marxist thinkers completely when they say that capitalism causes us to treat people in this world, including our very own children, as objects. However, the Marxist essentially is a Jacobin-- she correctly sees physical exploitation and the deformity of our souls everywhere. The fault, she wrongly thinks, lies not with human nature, but in established systems of power. All leftist thinkers, from Galbraith to Habermas, are in unison on this point.

In contrast, conservatives believe the best we can do given our modern predicament is sustain whatever cultural remnants that remain undestroyed by modern Jacobins, and try to preserve a liberal education, religion, and the family as best we can, since they best provide the education of our feelings and the human condition. Beyond that, our ability to actively destroy will exceed our ability to actively create-- progress in most cases is a process of unplanned evolution.

Perhaps my serious answer is inappropriate for an unserious age, but so be it.

Jason H. Bowden said...

The Cliff Notes version for the above-- the USSR-style Great Society created family breakdown (which leads to a cluster of social problems) that will take literally decades, if not centuries, to repair itself. The first thing to do when you've dug yourself in a hole is to stop digging.

hashfanatic said...

"Perhaps my serious answer is inappropriate for an unserious age, but so be it."

No, that comment was extremely well-written and thoughtful, even though I'm not sure some aspects of the cause of the problems cited are not actually effects of the problems, and today's neocons seem bent upon actually destroying, not preserving, many of the nation's institutions, but I'm so excited to see an intelligently written answer that I have no intentions of quibbling over the matter.

No ducking, no snipes, no transposition of established labels and descriptives. Thank you for that, jason, thank you.

Marshall Art said...

Once again, Jason, nicely done.


I didn't mean to infer that I think the state should intervene over obesity. I only meant that I believe it to be a form of child abuse to allow such a condition to perpetuate. As stated, some are predisposed, and kids can be a pain when they're young and whiney, but the parent still have to be in control and deal with it. One of my step daughters was a voracious eater. She wasn't, thankfully, predisposed toward weight-gain, but there was very little chance for it if she had been because her mother would not allow junk food to be consumed with anything resembling regularity. Day to day snacks consisted of fruits or vegetables, and Mickey D's or other fast food places were rare treats. Even then, they were monitored.

In those worst case scenarios, however, where seemingly benign irresponsibility like allowing kids to overeat becomes dangerous, there would hopefully be some means of alerting someone in authority to stave off the unthinkable, just as in any other case of child endangerment.

hashfanatic said...

Yes, by all means go to Child Protective Services and report an overweight child as a case of "child endangerment" and see what sort of priority such a "case" will merit.

I have no less than four close relatives directly involved with such work, and I guarantee you this notion will generate much laughter tonight at my Sunday dinner table!

Save time, energy, money, have an end to argument, and simply privatize the one function public education has no business being involved in....extracurricular programs, including sports, and all physical education classes, hold them all completely offsite, and use the available space and/or land to build desperately needed computer and science labs, study halls, intensive remediation "pods" that will enable personal, individualized interaction between student and teacher, and get our schools back into EDUCATING rather than PLAYING the future!

The 1950s are over. America no longer has laurels to rest upon.

Marshall Art said...

"I have no less than four close relatives directly involved with such work, and I guarantee you this notion will generate much laughter tonight at my Sunday dinner table!"

If this is true, than stupidity obviously runs in your family. If a child's life is endangered in any way, there should be no laughing whatsoever. Mine was only the broadest and most general of suggestions for the most severe cases possible, you freakin' circus geek. It is absolutely mind-boggling how incapable you are of understanding simple statements and concepts. Loosen that damn tin foil hat of yours.

hashfanatic said...

"If this is true, than stupidity obviously runs in your family. If a child's life is endangered in any way, there should be no laughing whatsoever."

Have you any idea what sort of real abuse child protection authorities see every day?

Marshall Art said...

So you're saying that the abuse has to be above a certain level of malevolence, or be only of a certain form in order for your close family members to waste their time. I stand by my statement.

hashfanatic said...

No, I'm saying that if a family intervention worker has a caseload of children drinking bleach to off themselves, having the blunt edges of curtain rods shoved up their vaginas and anuses for fun, and being chained to steaming radiators in their own filth for days on end, it might be the better part of valor not to suggest they prioritize little Manny, with the chubby cheeks and the high body-fat index?

Your utter disconnection with reality is astonishing.

Worse of all, it's a reality YOU created, not me and mine.

Marshall Art said...

"Worse of all, it's a reality YOU created, not me and mine."

Oh please. Pray and by all means tell just how this is in any way, shape or form, true. You have my total attention. (This oughta be rich.)

Marshall Art said...

Before you do, wackjob, please reread my previous where I stated I did NOT intend that it be a priority except in the most severe of cases. "Most severe" if you had the least bit of mental ability to decipher, would include a case where the health of the child was so bad that it threatened the kid's life. Feel free to explain how the one threat to a kid's life is more important to another threat to another kid's life. Then you can proceed with the comedy bit about how things are the fault of people like me. Really. I'm eager to hear it.

hashfanatic said...

"Feel free to explain how the one threat to a kid's life is more important to another threat to another kid's life..."

If you can't see the difference between the need to intervene in even a morbidly obese child's home and that of a physically abused or sexually tortured child, your priorities are completely fucked up and there's really not much that I or any other responsible adult can say that will convince you.

Find another cause celebre (or, preferably, another police state to take up residence in).

The system is screwed up enough as it is without any more unworkable, "brilliant" ideas from you.

Marshall Art said...

My point, you lowlife mentally challenged buffoon, is that they are equally deserving of attention. I concede yours is more immediate, but the other will kill the kid or ruin his life just as much. So sad that you can dismiss the suffering of a child so easily.