Students feel they don’t measure up

Students stress enough about weight. So should getting weighed in school really be required?

Students stress enough about weight. So should getting weighed in school really be required?

Being a teen in today’s society presents its difficulties. Both teen boys and girls are basically expected to fill a certain mold or meet standards that have been set forth by today’s society.

 Often if teens don’t meet that criteria they are bullied, left out, judged, harassed and much more. More often than not it is other students and peers that do the bullying. The torment from others often derives from weight issues.

 Today among high school students 45% of girls are trying to lose weight and 15% of boys are also trying to lose weight. And 7 in 10 girls feel they are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way.

 A girl’s self esteem is often based on body image and weight or how she may look compared to others around her, or models on a magazine. So is getting weighed in school in front of peers and by someone that doesn’t know you really helping? To make matters worse, students not in the expected weight range get letters sent home that they are over or under weight.

 It’s bad enough most teens in school have low self esteem and are always worrying about weight whether they are overweight or not but then the school has input as well.

 Many students especially girls feel uncomfortable getting weighed especially in front of other students and by a person they don’t know.

“I feel it really isn’t the school’s business to know my weight. It’s my moms, doctors and my own business. They don’t need to send a letter home if I’m overweight either because chances are I already know,” Madison Meilnik a ninth grade student said.

 Students are weighed and their height is measured. This is to calculate BMI or Body Mass Index. The BMI measurements are part of the FitnessGram program and are implemented and used and required in many states.

 One of those states that requires it is Pennsylvania. In Pennsylvania school code it states it is required.

 Many argue that it helps by monitoring to see if physical education programs and the changes in school lunches are helping improve students health.  Others though including students disagree.

 “I highly disagree with it, like I appreciate that they are concerned about our health but it doesn’t matter. I could eat a salad every day in school and then go home and eat five whole pizzas. It’s not the schools business really,” ninth grade student Charmiza Mercer said

 If when the student is weighed and he or she is found to have an above average weight or BMI then the school sends home a letter informing parents. This is felt by many people and students to be wrong and even offensive.

 “When I get a letter home from the school basically saying I’m fat, it really discourages me. I feel bad enough about my weight and try really hard to lose weight. It doesn’t help at all and makes me feel horrible, and I’m sure many people at our schools girls especially feel the same. It isn’t right,” Fern Loughridge said.

 Students are often weighed when other students are in the room since they are often sent down with a class or small group of other students. This makes many people feel self conscious and uncomfortable.

 “I feel really weird when there are other students in the room when I get weighed, I don’t like getting weighed by a school nurse in general but it’s worse when there are other students. Occasionally they will take you into a separate room but not always. I’m always afraid another student will see or hear my weight and bully me for it,” Loughrigde said.

“The school feels the need to send home a letter and worry about my personal weight which is my and my parent’s business not the school. The school should be worried about education and academics and how well I’m doing in classes rather than my weight. As I said before I have my own doctor so why does the school and state require it? Its not at all necessary and doesn’t benefit me in anyway, it even hurts some students and girls self esteem,” Meilnik said.

 If you go on any social media site and search “skinny” or anything regarding weight you will see girls who would die to be as skinny.

 Some girls and students even go to unhealthy lengths such as not eating or starving themselves to try and be skinny like the people they see online. Its not right. The school and state requiring students to get weighed doesn’t help.