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Published On: Wed, Oct 16th, 2013

Massachusetts ends controversial obesity letters to parents noting risk of bullying

Massachusetts public health officials voted Wednesday to stop sendning controversial letters that Massachusetts public schools send parents about their children’s weight, following widespread criticism that the practice led to bullying and excessive costs for schools.

Monitoring the students’ weight and height through screenings in grades one, four, seven and ten will continue and officials say the data is trended to identify obesity problems and determine possible system-wide solutions.

“The data we have collected through this core initiative has been key to our success,” said Carlene Pavlos, director of the state health department bureau that runs the screening program. Pavlos said that three years of data they collected from the program show a consistent across the state decrease of student’s height and weight, known as body mass index, of 2.4 percent.

Schools had been complaining that mail the letters was expensive, so many times the letters went home with the child and this led to these students being teased officials said.

The new rules eliminate the required parental notification and instead, allow school districts to make the information available to parents or guardians upon written request.

“Not all parents may be aware that their child may be reaching an unhealthy weight status and by not providing this information as it is collected increases the likelihood that the child will continue increasing in weight,” wrote M. Laurette Hughes, a registered nurse who said she worked for 15 years in school districts in Vermont and Boston.

Reportedly, nearly one-third of all US children are overweight or obese.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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  1. Massachusetts Schools Stop Sending Weight Letters Home to Parents « Spot On Paper says:

    […] to The Global Dispatch, the new rules eliminate the required parental notification and instead allow school districts to make the […]

  2. Massachusetts colleges cease Sending Weight Letters home to parents - One World News says:

    […] with the worldwide Dispatch, the new principles eliminate the desired parental notification and as an alternative enable college districts to make […]

  3. Gonorrhea outbreak declared in Spokane County | Symptom of Pregnancy says:

    […] […]

  4. CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON says:

    “POLITICAL-CORRECTNESS” IS OUT-OF-CONTROL. “BULLYING” IS A “PC WORD.”

    WHEN I WAS A CHILD, BOYS SETTLED DISPUTES WITH A FIST FIGHT. AND, YES, MANY GIRLS “CRIED THEIR WAY HOME” FROM SCHOOL AFTER BEING CALLED “FAT” BY THEIR CLASSMATES.

    FEMALES WHO VALUE women’s liberation NEED TO BE IN THE FOREFRONT IF THEY WANT HECKLING ABOUT OBESITY TO END. LET US SEE OBESE FEMALES PROMOTING COSMETICS IN TELEVISION COMMERCIALS. SINCE SEX IS FINANCIALLY PROFITABLE IN FILM AND TELEVISION, LET US SEE OBESE FEMALES IN ROMANTIC SCENES; AND, A DECREASE OF “bikini babes.”

    OBESE CHILDREN WILL USUALLY BE OBESE ADULTS. IF THESE PEOPLE WANT FRIENDSHIP AND MARRIAGE IN ADULT LIFE, THEY NEED TO REALIZE IT IS SILLY TO ATTEMPT CHANGE IN THOSE WHO HAVE ESOTERIC VIEWS OF OTHERS.

    IGNORE NAME-CALLING FOOLS!

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

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