More Invasive Government

Maryland is considering a bill that would require schools to weigh children and report the results to parents along with information on obesity. Childhood obesity, like adult obesity, is a problem in this country. Most of this stems from the sedate lifestyles children live compared to the pre-computer pre-Internet era.

Thirty years ago children played outside. They ran, played ball, and in school they had recess and gym class. Now, with 300 million TV channels, scores of electronic games and high speed Internet access, children have no reason to leave the house. The lack of exercise coupled with two wage earner families and expanded fast and junk food choices has resulted in wider, heavier children. Of course, all this is coming from a man who spends hours on his computer, but I digress.

The issue is, do we want our schools taking over the responsibility of keeping an eye on a child’s weight? Will these weigh ins be public events where children are herded to an area where they stand in line and everyone hears the results (I can see the law suits now)? What will be done with the results? If a kid is over weight and a note is sent home, what happens if the kid is still over weight the next time around? If nothing is going to be done with the results then what is the purpose of the drill?

It is not enough that they will inform parents. After all, parents can look at their children and see they are over weight. In addition, children are supposed to be in school to learn and the schools have not quite gotten that down yet. Perhaps money would be better spent by having schools actually focus on teaching the subjects that children need to succeed in life. There are already classes on condom use, acceptance of homosexuality, and Muslim indoctrination. Maybe we could go for broke and get rid of the feel good stuff and have a required health class where children are taught about proper nutrition.

In any event, it is beyond me how we can continue to pile things on the school system, a system that is woefully inadequate in its basic responsibility. This whole notion further erodes parental responsibility and gives the system yet another excuse for its failures.

Source: WBAL



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4 Responses to “More Invasive Government”

  1. N. Mallory says:

    I think before schools can start blaming parents for their students’ weight issues, they need to re-assess how they have contributed. School lunches where ketchup is considered a vegetable are no longer healthy just cost effective. Many schools have done away with recess and gym.

    I think a nutrition class should be a part of gym — we did Jane Fonda workouts when I was in high school and had quizes on the food pyramid.

    An elimination of vending machines in schools would be a good start too.

    As you can tell, I think this is a waste of time. As you said, the parents can look at their children and see they’re overweight. Creating extra humiliation by adding it to a child’s report card is not going to help the child and a parent who doesn’t care enough to do something now isn’t going to do anything once a report card comes home either.

  2. Big Dog says:

    I agree with you except I would never make a kid watch a Jane Fonda video. That to me is child abuse. There are plenty of other work out films without brining that traitor into the class rooms.

    The whole idea just reeks of stupidity.

  3. N. Mallory says:

    Well, I thank you for assuming I’m young enough for videos to have been used… ;)

    It was one of those old portable cassette players like you see in old cop movies in interrogation rooms.

    I can’t decide if I was more scarred by the tiny polyester gym uniform or Jane Fonda.

  4. Seeing the number of obese adults (indeed parents) in this country, it’s no surprise that lots of parents could be in abject denial about their childrens’ weight and related health problems.

    That said, I agree that it isn’t the place of public schools to be tracking YET another data point for our kids, and trying to “educate” parents and kids about this health problem in that way. I know in our elementary school (in Maryland), resources are spread to the breaking point as it is. Arrrgh, more big brotherism.