Teenager Who Refused To Be Weighed For School’s BMI Test Should Be Applauded

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teenager-refuses-to-be-weighedAn Iowa teenager took a stand during a school fitness test that requires students to have their height and weight recorded to compute their BMI. She refused to be weighed, and was sent to the principal’s office. Whoever thought it was a good idea to make young girls stand on scales in front of each other should be publicly shamed. What a horrible concept.

I have an idea! Let’s take a group of kids, at the most impressionable, difficult time of their lives, and have them publicly weighed! No, idiots. No.

13-year-old Ireland Hobert-Hoch is a straight-A student and according to her mother, “not one to cause problems in school.” But a few weeks ago, when a fitness test required that students at Southeast Polk Junior High in Pleasant Hill, Iowa record their weight — she refused.

From The Huffington Post:

“I don’t feel like it’s [the school’s] business,”Ireland told the Des Moines Register. “I feel like it’s my doctor and my mom and my own business — or maybe not even my own, because I don’t need to know that right now.”

The principal says it wasn’t that she refused, it was the way she refused. Hobert-Hoch says she got into “a little bit of an argument” with the woman asking to weigh her: “She kept telling me to get weighed, and I kept saying ‘No.'”

A teacher came to talk to her when she was sitting in the principal’s office and asked if she would like to be weighed in private, to which she replied, “No. I don’t want to be weighed anywhere. At all.”

The principal says that the height/weight recordings have been happening for years, and they are a part of a program that gives students helpful feedback. I would argue that forcing 13-year-olds to fixate on their weight isn’t helping anyone at all.

I’m proud of this young girl for sticking up for herself. She’s not interested in knowing her weight. It’s not her doctor’s office, it’s her school. We should allow students the autonomy to make these decisions for themselves. And we certainly shouldn’t be forcing teenage girls to be weighed in front of each other. That’s just a recipe for disaster.

“It’s very common among young girls, and even women, to become obsessed with the number on the scale,” Ireland’s mom said. Good on you for supporting your daughter, mom. And good job raising a strong, confident young woman who stands up for herself.
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