Through my searching I saw students that I had just evaluated, and had happened to have a jacket or hoodie on before the alarm, lift them up to create a canopy and put our daughter underneath it. They new about her CU, and knew this was not good for her and took it upon themselves to protect her. She did have to come home after, she was broken out everywhere, but these kids did what they could. I got her home, and instantly called the principle and told him what I had witnessed. These kids are getting an
achievement from the school, and have our most sincere appreciation. If you
ever need your faith restored, look no further than kids!
I will say that our principle was extremely apologetic how everything transpired. It turns out what had happened was that a staff member had bumped the alarm on accident. Then to have our daughter out in the pouring rain, and the teachers not aware of what to do since our 504 meeting is not scheduled for a couple more weeks, really made things a big mess. But our daughter is fine, and I will forever remember the kids protecting her.
Now for the thing that broke my heart this week. That same day, while helping out at our daughter's school, I had to do a job that I 100% disagree with. My job was to weigh every single child in the school and record their weight. Through out the next 3 weeks, I will go to the other schools in our district and do the same. Instantly I wanted to put a sign up that said "You are more than this number", but couldn't. So I set my area in a corner, and place the line about 10 feet back so other kids could not see the weight of
others, and never read a weight out loud. Before releasing the child I made
sure the scale had turned off, erasing their weight before calling the next
Through the course of the day, I was shocked to see most of the kids
petrified of the scale, yes girls AND boys. Remember these are 3rd, 4th, and
5th graders! The boys and girls would shuck off every piece of clothing that
they could, hoodies, jackets, sweatshirts, shoes, socks, and then explain to me
that these items added weight. When they would get on the scale, they would try
to lean on a shelf to "take off" a couple of pounds. Others would go on the
scale backwards so they did not see how much they weighed.
I kept conversations up with every single one of them to take the focus off
the numbers that were appearing and making them doubt themselves. But once the
numbers popped up, they instantly started asking me what I thought, would tell
me if they gained weight since the last time they weighed themselves at home, or
lost weight. They would then try to explain WHY they weighed what they did.
While this made me sad, one boy broke my heart. This boy was in 3rd grade
and was very thin. We were laughing and joking around until he saw the scale.
He instantly froze, and asked me if he had to do it. I explained that we
weren't doing anything but seeing how big his muscles were. His voice started
to quiver, and I asked him if he was o.k. This little boy broke down sobbing,
begging me "please don't make me do this". Now my actions may get me in
trouble, last I knew you can't hug children that aren't yours at school, but I
knelt down and wrapped my arms around this boy giving him a big hug while he
sobbed on my shoulder, still pleading. I didn't make this child get on the
scale, and informed the nursing staff of my decision.
If you think what happened that day are as shocking as I did, consider this. Eating
disorders are on the rise, especially in this age group. Experts tell you that
it is not uncommon to admit children 10, 11, & 12 years old to the hospital
for eating disorders. They are finding them in children as young as 6!!!! Yes
6 year old children are developing anorexia, BOYS AND GIRLS!! It's also
estimated that by the time a child turns 9, 40% of them have put themselves on a
diet at one point or another.
In the US, it is mandated by 19 states that schools must take height and
weight during health screenings. If you live in one of these states you can
opt out. In other countries there has been talk about weighing students as
well. I am not sure if it passed or if they are still talking about it, but
it's out there.
I can definitely tell you that I am mad. Mad that the schools have to
comply to get federal funds, mad that the states have mandated this, and mad at
a society that is teaching our children that their self worth is based upon a
number on a scale. So give your kids an amazing squeeze tonight, and let them
know that they are so much more. That they are perfect they way they are, that
they bring so much joy to our lives, we are blessed to have them, and it's no
one's business what they weigh. After all the same idiots who believe they can
take a child's height and weight to calculate how fit a child is without ever
seeing them, are the same people who would calculate that our favorite NFL
players, Hockey Players, Basketball players, and Football players as obese.
That's not fat, that's muscle, but those idiots don't get it. So let's make
sure our kids get it, before the idiots get to them first!