Keep Your Hands Off My Kid’s Weight – Weighing In – Update

Weighing in on Weight at School has been one of the most talked about posts I’ve ever written. For those of you who don’t know or didn’t read it, my child came home last week very upset about having her weight taken at school. It made her self conscious, she said. It was a reflections activity that made me extremely angry and inflamed a lot of my readers. Tons of you tweeted me over the weekend and your comments and support have been amazing. Some of you recalled being chubby as children, having the very same weighing at school and how scarring it was. Others said even their grade one child would be mortified if this happened. Others said really angry things. One said on twitter that he could see a reason for it in health class. I assured him it wasn’t health class and my daughter’s health is fine. We are very much on top of that here. A couple of Dads flipped. Most of us are trying to grow strong children, strong young women, ones who don’t have big self esteem issues or eating disorders. Mine has been a sensitive kid from the start and she has always been sensitive about weight. She is in a class of 27 with a wide range of developmental stages. The boys and girls are 10 and soon to be 11. Many are developing into fine young men and women whose bodies are currently going through puberty and changing. Therefore many are even more self conscious than they would be at other stages of life. My child felt like crap after she went first, apparently chosen to go first. She told me several kids stood around and many boys commented- How big she was. She is not big. She is not a stick kid either. She is an athletic girl. We keep her active and we lead a healthy lifestyle. She does martial arts, yoga, and swimming lessons. She dances and sings in an acting troupe. So I was livid when I heard that she had been made to feel shitty at school. A thin child went, one of the tiniest in the class and Payton said many comments were made about how tiny that girl was. Now maybe that child will grow up to feel healthy about weight, but I can tell you that when I was a stick kid in high school and people commented all the time eyeballing me and asking if I was anorexic it felt equally shitty. So I called the principal the moment I heard this information. Naturally it was a Friday and I had to wait until Monday for any response. We have a new principal, one I’d not even met yet. Several of you told me to head right over there Monday morning don’t sit around waiting for a call. It was good advice. So I did that. I walked into the front hall and the principal said: “It was a measuring activity for math. It was done in private, recorded in their cahier. The teacher is willing to change it just to height. He is going to call you.” Now head on home little mommy and don’t bug me again. Not even a step into the office. Now I can tell you folks that I have had issues over the years with numerous things that come up. Once it was a kid on the bus wanted to “punch my daughter’s teeth in.” Once it was some kid who bullied daughter at school. Another time it was to chat about the needs of my youngest child. Generally speaking the principals I have dealt with – and there have been a succession of them throughout the last few years at our school – would ask me into the office where we could converse respectfully and “bridge the gap between home and school” as one of you readers put it. I am very understanding that mistakes happen and that perhaps this could have been done differently. I am still mad. My daughter went back to school on Monday. She was pretty upset at first, vowing never to return to that school. I was beyond livid that all the kids who watched her being weighed have more ammunition for recess. As it is my daughter tells me it is not uncommon to be called Fat at recess. Doesn’t matter the age or gender. It happens. As for the other issues, well I am not sure that just measuring height makes it any better. Even if, in a classroom of 27, you can try to keep these measurements private, there are 27 kids and 54 eyeballs watching. Call it reflections, call it measurement, call it math, call it public or private – I don’t personally care – I still think there are about 100 other ways of measuring things and reflecting on goals that don’t make any one of those students feel shitty about their self esteem. How about you?

Mom of two beautiful active girls, traveller, fitness junkie, social media consultant, and keeper of the sanity.


  • Sara

    You showed up at the principal’s office unannounced and you’re upset that she didn’t drop everything and make time for you? What about the mom she was expecting to show up that scheduled a meeting with her? Should she have to wait for you, who didn’t make an appointment?

    The assignment was this: Measure yourself now and then in the spring measure yourself again and chart the differences. The weight component has been taken out of it. You got what was needed to be done for your daughter and any other girl who felt self conscious about it. When I talked to the teacher about it, he told me that he thought the assignment would be a good one because it is tracking something real and meaningful to the students. I tend to agree with him. And I agree with you that the weight issue should be removed out of respect. I want something more for my child’s education,however, than just “measure anything”. I like it to be meaningful and charting height is one way to do that.

  • Cyn

    I completely agree with you about the weight component of the assignment but can I just suggest that I think it was inappropriate to go straight to the principal about it? I feel you should have gone to the teacher first and then if dissatisfied with the response, move on to the principal.

  • Cyn

    I completely agree with you that weight should not be taken at school. I do however feel that you should have gone to the teacher first to discuss it and THEN to the principal if you weren’t satisfied with the answer.

  • Paula Schuck

    For clarification- I went to both. I called both and left note for teacher and message for principal. It was the weekend and therefore responses were slow. I get that. Also they dropped the weight from the assignment.