Every year, K-12 students in New York City are given “Fitnessgrams” to take home and show to their parents. These “fitness score cards” are distributed to assess students’ health. One of the measurements included in these Fitnessgrams is each student’s BMI, or Body Mass Index.
In 2014, 9-year-old Gwendolyn Williams was sent home with her personalized Fitnessgram sealed up in an envelope. Students were instructed not to open or read the letters themselves. But like most of her curious friends, Gwendolyngave in to the temptation.
The third grader was shocked to read that her school described her as “overweight.” After all, Gwendolyn was just 4 foot 9 and weighed 66 pounds at the time, a “pencil-thin” and active little girl. Distraught, Gwendolyn showed the letter to her mother, Laura, who was absolutely appalled.
That night, Laura caught Gwendolyn grabbing at the skin of her waist, pulling atwhatever flesh she could and worrying she was fat. Laura was heartbroken to see her daughter so confused and self-conscious about her body. Some of Gwendolyn’s friends found out they were classified as obese intheir Fitnessgrams, andspent the night in tears.
Laura was so outraged that she shared her story with the media but the school bit back, reminding critics thatthe students were told not to open the letters. “With body image such an issue, it’s amazing to me that these letters weren’t mailed to parents,” she told FOX News. “What kid’s not going to open that?”
Other parents agree with Laura, saying that it’s not a school’s place tomeasure and analyze a student’s BMI.
What do you think about the Fitnessgram? Let us know, and