Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I've Been Singing the Same Tune for a Long Time

I was over at my parents the other night as they were preparing for a trip to Canada to do some snorkeling with Beluga whales (lucky!). I was rummaging through my old room and attic and found this missive that I penned during my 2007 bid for East Penn School Board:

East Penn School District a "Pioneer" in Nanny State Legislation

Congratulations, East Penn School District! You have helped make Pennsylvania's already bloated State Government even bigger. The "Fat Letters" first used in an attempt to curb childhood obesity half a decade ago, inspired our geniuses in Harrisburg to make Body Mass Index, or "BMI" measurements MANDATORY for all students throughout the Commonwealth. Parents now cannot even make the decision to have their own children opt out of BMI testing. What has this wonder-testing accomplished? Let's take a look at the numbers. In the 2002-2003 School Year, when the fat letters were first introduced, obesity in the East Penn School District was at 13.97%. The following year, it dropped to 11.9%, a remarkable decrease! However, in the 2004-2005 school term, obesity figures had skyrocketed to 15.2% In 2005-2006, the last time East Penn Students were measured, the percentage remained virtually indistinguishable from the original 13.97% and is now at 13.08%. Introducing Body Mass Index testing has not made our children any smaller. It has made our State Government (you know, the one that passed the midnight pay jacking) bigger.
Now, six years later, BMI testing is something that schools around the nation do. Internationally, we're falling further and further behind in academics. Should we really be focusing on telling parents that their children are too fat (or skinny)?

You may not walk to the beat of the same drummer, but unlike most politicians, I don't change my tune.

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