Stop dangerous practice of “weight grades” on report cards by signing the petition! (And enter to win 1 of 2 copies of Scars)

UPDATE:

Now you can win 1 of 2 signed copies each of Scars, Purge by Sarah Darer Littman, Hope in Patience by Beth Fehlbaum, and I’m Not Her by Janet Gurtler just for signing the petition! Let us know on my blog or Sarah’s, and we’ll be picking winners May 31 and June 31.

Canadians, you have to select a state in order to sign the petition.


So many of us struggle with negative body images and issues with food. Girls and teens are especially susceptible; eating disorders and body image issues (including self-harm) are on the rise. Now there’s something that will make this worse–many states are now sending “weight grades” and BMI scores home on students’ report cards. Can you imagine the affect that will have?

(If you can, please sign the petition!)

I can. As a sexual abuse survivor, I hated my body. HATED it. I wore baggy clothes, trying to hide from anyone seeing me; I used food in binge episodes to try to suppress my pain; and I cut myself up–a lot. There were many other reasons I cut–mostly to escape the pain of the abuse, to get through another minute, to punish myself, sometimes to keep from killing myself–but hatred for my body was in the mix.

And at home, I had my abusers telling me I was a fat cow when they’d rape me. I had forced impregnations–god, how I dissociated from my body, wanted to be anywhere but in my own flesh.

If I had had BMI and weight grades on my report cards, my abusers would have used it as another form of emotional abuse. I would have used it to beat myself up more. I know I would have been cutting more, and I would probably also have gotten a lot more messed up with food than I already was. And I am sure that the bullying I experienced, especially by other girls, would have increased.

I could barely get through some of those days as a teen. I wince to think how much worse they would have been with my BMI on my report cards.

We know girls are pressured to be thin. We know eating disorders and negative body issues are on the rise.

We know that:
• Anorexia has the highest mortality rate among all psychological disorders.
• 10% of all eating disorders cases are children under the age of 10.
• The most common behavior that will lead to an eating disorder is dieting.
• 4 out of 10 Americans have either suffered or have known someone who has suffered from an eating disorder.
• One-half of 4th grade girls are on a diet.
• Among high school students, 44% of the females and 15% of the males are attempting to lose weight.
• Anorexia is the 3rd most common chronic illness among adolescents.

That is scary enough. Putting “weight grades” and BMI on report cards is only going to make it worse. When I read a newspaper article on this, I knew I had to do something. Together, author Sarah Darer Littman and I wrote and created a petition to help stop the spread of this dangerous practice. I really believe that we can make a difference if enough voices are heard.

Please, please–sign the petition, let your friends know about the petition, and help us make a change for the better.

Petitions by Change.org|Start a Petition »

I care about this so much that I’ll do another giveaway. Let me know that you’ve signed the petition in the comments, or let others know about it, and you are entered to win one of two signed copies of Scars. These are first edition, hardcover copies. Sound good? Please go sign the petition and help spread the word!

UPDATE:

Now you can win 1 of 2 signed copies each of Scars, Purge by Sarah Darer Littman, Hope in Patience by Beth Fehlbaum, and I’m Not Her by Janet Gurtler just for signing the petition! Let us know on my blog or Sarah’s, and we’ll be picking winners May 31 and June 31.


32 Responses to “Stop dangerous practice of “weight grades” on report cards by signing the petition! (And enter to win 1 of 2 copies of Scars)”

  1. Geoff Knight Says:

    Cheryl, I agree with your petition; I signed it. Thanks for sending it out. I have forwarded it on to spread more awareness. P.S. You may want to add to your email that you have to click on a U.S. state to be able to submit your name. I chose NY.

    Geoff

  2. Beth Fehlbaum Says:

    Signed, shared on FB & Twitter, & posted on my blog, as well. Cheryl, I had/have the same issues with overeating as a way of coping with my feelings, and it started when I was being sexually abused, too. You NAILED IT with your description of what it’s like. Thank you for speaking out on this important issue.

  3. Beth Fehlbaum Says:

    I would like to join in your giveaway, Cheryl. I will donate a copy of HOPE IN PATIENCE to your efforts. Just let me know who your winner is and I will send a signed copy his/her way, as well!
    Beth Fehlbaum, author
    Hope in Patience
    http://www.bethfehlbaumya.com

  4. Machelle Grimes Says:

    Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions. That said, grading “weight” is not the answer. The idea that solving weight issues by using report cards is reason #5082 that I homeschool my kids.

  5. lindsaywrites Says:

    definitely signed it! that is ridiculous….

    thanks for spreading the word on this.

  6. Leira Carola Says:

    I have tried, many times, to sign the petition but after hitting sign it stays loading forever!

    Help?

  7. Beth Fehlbaum Says:

    @ Leira- I had to go directly to Change.org and search for the “Weight Grade” petition in order to sign it. It kept loading & loading & loading for me, too, when I tried to access the petition from this page. Hope that helps.
    Beth

  8. Leira Carola Says:

    @ Beth: Thanks! I tried it your way and it worked :)

  9. Jenn fisher Says:

    Hi Cheryl,
    Signed the petition, so glad you’re giving children a voice.

  10. Plea from Cheryl Rainfield to Cheryl Rainfield to stop the dangerous practice of BMI on report cards (please sign the petition!) | Tina Toler-Keel Says:

    […] and body mass index (BMI) on children’s grade cards (you can read about it here). Until I read her post, I had not heard of this tormenting […]

  11. Cheryl Rainfield Says:

    Thank you so very, very much, everyone who’s signing the petition! I know Sarah and I both appreciate it so much!

    Geoff, thanks so much for signing and for helping to get the word out; that’s wonderful!! And yes, I’ll add that into my post.

    Beth, thank you. I’m so glad you think I nailed it! I was definitely affected by the abuse. And thank you so much for offering your books as well!! That’s generous of you. I’ve updated the post to show that. And thank you so much for telling someone how to get around the page not fully loading. That wasn’t happening with me–I’m so glad you had a solution!

    Machelle, I agree that grading weight has no place on report cards. It sounds like homeschooling could be a good thing for a lot of kids.

    Lindsay, thank you so much for signing the petition; i appreciate it.

    Leira, I’m sorry you were having trouble loading the page. So glad Beth had a solution for you! And thank you so much for signing!

    Jenn, thank you so very much for signing the petition!

    I am so grateful that you all raise your voices and help get the word out about this. Thank you!

  12. Jessica Naccari Says:

    I completely agree with this effort and I’m glad you guys formed a petition. I signed and retweeted in hopes that others will do the same. Good luck!

  13. Cheryl Rainfield Says:

    Jessica, thank you! I’m so glad you signed it and tweeted it; thank you for helping to get the word out there!

  14. pamela thompson Says:

    Hi, Cheryl,
    Signed, sealed and delivered. I am happy to help! pamela thompson

  15. Patricia Kahn Says:

    Thank you so very much for drafting this petition. I hadn’t known this report card reportage of weight and BMI was happening. As one who is too familiar with bullying, I so appreciate this. Many thanks!

  16. Cheryl Rainfield Says:

    Pamela, thank you; that’s fantastic!

  17. Cheryl Rainfield Says:

    Patricia, thank you! I’m glad you like knowing what’s happening. I think it’s good to, so we can fight against things that will cause more pain.

  18. Melissa Says:

    I definitely signed this petition! Thanks for creating it along with Sarah Darer Littman. Love you girls!

  19. Christal Says:

    Cheryl, thanks so much for sharing this information and for starting this petition – I, for one, hadn’t heard about “weight grades” until you brought it to my attention. Signed & shared. Cheers, Christal

  20. Cheryl Rainfield Says:

    Thank you so much for caring about this issue, Christal, and for signing the petition!

  21. Cheryl Rainfield Says:

    Thank you so much, Melissa; that’s fantastic! I really appreciate it. (beaming)

  22. RM1(SS) (ret) Says:

    Signed.

    Whose idiot idea was this, anyway?

  23. Cheryl Rainfield Says:

    Thank you for signing the petition! Er–I’m not sure whose idea it was to put BMI on report cards–but I think they were trying to do some good, worrying about children getting obese. It’s just that it’s a very hurtful, unhealthy way to do it.

  24. Can BMI information be dangerous? « Practically Paradise Says:

    […] do another giveaway. Let me know that you’ve signed the petition in the comments of my post (http://cherylrainfield.com/blog/?p=3342) , and you are entered to win one of two signed copies of Scars. These are first edition, hardcover […]

  25. Renee Rearden Says:

    Cheryl,

    I saw your tweet about the “grading weight” article. Your courage and determination spoke to me on a very personal level. Thank you for being a voice other women (and victims) hear and look to for help or guidance.

    I signed the petition and also posted the article on my facebook page. I hope that will help promote awareness and generate more signatures from concerned individuals!

  26. Cherie Says:

    Cheryl, I’m flabbergasted by your life story, and very much impressed you’ve risen above it. What a horrible thing to have to go through.

    As for the BMI report cards, I do agree
    that it’s wrong. Media has already
    destroyed so many kid’s perceptions of
    how they should look, and the one place–school–where they should be given a healthy perception should not “grade” them for it. That’s reason to catapult these poor kids down the road of depression and even lower self esteem. It’s just wrong.

  27. Cheryl Rainfield Says:

    Thank you, Cherie. Yes, I went through really extreme abuse as a child and teen…. Healing matters a lot to me.

    I’m glad you think it’s wrong to put BMI on children’s/teen’s report cards. I do, too. I think it will be incredibly detrimental.

  28. Anne R. Allen Says:

    This makes me sick. Shaming children who are already being victimized by food manufacturers is just plain evil. Kids are fat because adults feed them poison. But poor parents can’t afford anything but poison. And 67% of what causes bodies to gain weight is genetic. Are they going to be failed for having the wrong color eyes. Or skin?

  29. Sara (The Hiding Spot) Says:

    I simply cannot understand why including weight and BMI on a report card is a good idea and why anyone might think it is… I signed the petition!

  30. Cheryl Rainfield Says:

    Anne, I understand it making you feel sick. It upsets me, too.

    Sara, I can’t understand it either. I know they’re trying to do it for good reasons, for health reasons, but they’re leaving out the emotional component and how much that will affect children and teens.

  31. Ila Farrell Says:

    that it’s wrong. Thanks for creating it along with Sarah Darer Littman.

  32. Virginia Bates Says:

    I am happy to help! Love you girls!

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