According to a recent report, parents in Massachusetts think that the legislation initiative mandating body mass index (BMI) screenings in public schools is a breach of privacy and interferes with their (personal) parenting life.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health Guidelines for BMI Screening strictly say that the results should be ‘personally communicated to the guardians and not be sent with the student’ but parents complain that their children will still find out and that may negatively affect them.
Two lawmakers, Massachusetts State Rep. Jim Lyons and State Sen. Kathleen O'Connor Ives are fighting to reverse this ‘fat letters’ legislation.
Putting a ‘too skinny’ or ‘too fat’ label has way deeper effects on the mindset of children than it seems. Such letters officially put a tag on a child and that can leave everlasting effects of depression since ‘body image’ is considered to be one of the most important social traits of individuals to be popular.
These letters can also instigate, or at least, aid bullying in schools. The government can surely set guidelines but to send out such documents to parents is certainly not a very sensible thing to do.
The Massachusetts government hasn’t commented on the ‘fat letters’ controversy yet.