Elkhart school nurse tells student she is overweight, mother steps in
“I was livid, furious, disgusted, appalled that the school would allow something like this to come home,” said Nicole Read, parent of Osolo Elementary School student.
One Elkhart mom is left picking up the pieces after her 10-year-old daughter came home from school on Thursday in tears with a piece of information in hand that she received that day.
The entire fifth grade class at Osolo Elementary School in Elkhart underwent an annual health assessment done by the school nurse on March 3rd.
“A dental check, and weight check, height check, BMI check,” said Read.
Each student’s information was written on a piece of paper, placed in an envelope, and into the students’ mailboxes. Nicole read’s daughter looked inside that envelope to see what paperwork she had gotten and there was this.
“Next to her BMI the school nurse had written overweight, and along with that she had sent home a piece of paper that told us to basically be more active eat more fruits and vegetables,” said Read.
Read says her daughter came home crying after seeing the note about being overweight, and she’s especially confused because her daughter’s BMI on the paper was 22.2, which is considered normal for her age. Read says she and her husband have also always made it a point in their home to be active and healthy.
"She plays basketball, she plays volleyball, she plays football, she plays soccer, she runs with me, we bicycle together. To be told basically hey that's not good enough and you need to do even more than you're already doing,” said Read.
Read immediately made plans to meet with school administration Friday morning.
“I met with the assistant principal and she was equally upset,” said read.
But she says nothing can un-do what her daughter has already seen.
“She's going to remember this. She's going to think back on this every time she tries on a swimsuit, every time she tries on a pair of jeans or some cool outfit that the other kids are wearing. It is always going to be in the back of her mind now no matter what I say,” said Read.
I spoke with the health services coordinator who oversees the work of Elkhart school nurses to ask if anything may change with protocol and the way health assessment feedback was handled.
“I am uncertain. We’ll take this under consideration. The assistant superintendent is in charge of that, he and I will have a conversation,” said John McClure, Health Services Coordinator for Elkhart Community Schools
Read says she plans on taking it into her own hands and will be speaking with the Board soon.
“Unfortunately the damage is already done. These young girls have read it they've processed it now overnight and their confidence has taken a bit of a hit over it,” said Read.
She also says she is compromising with the assistant principal to do as much damage control as possible.
“Doing an assembly. Talk about loving the skin that were in, talk about how a number is different for each individual person; that health is different for each individual person,” said Read.