Thousands sign petition calling for end to school weigh-ins
Published Thursday, January 26, 2017 7:24PM EST
For years students from elementary schools to Cegeps have been asked to weigh in during phys. ed class.
It's a practice that thousands of people say is demeaning, and they're asking the National Assembly to stop it.
Corinne Payne's daughter is one student who has been repeatedly weighed in class.
"Some schools do it, some teachers do it, some do it in public, some do it in private," said the president of the Quebec Federation of Parents' Committees.
Her teenager said the experience is often humiliating for many people.
"She said it has to stop, this is not right. It's not right for us to stand in front of our friends and have to say what our weight is," said Payne.
"She told me at one point in time, in her high school, 'Mommy you know I have a friend who doesn't eat lunch ever, because she thinks she's too big. But she's not. She's way too small.'"
Anorexia and Bulimia Quebec says students should not be weighed in class because it can and trigger body image issues or eating disorders.
Dr. Pierre-Olivier Nadeau of Ste. Justine hospital said teachers may be acting with good intentions, but said it's more important to focus on healthy habits instead of numbers on a scale.
"It's understandable that you want to help people understand what's their weight and what it means, but it creates self-awareness and negative self-talk," said Dr. Nadeau.
MNAs are now holding hearings on the topic after more than 4,000 people signed a petition calling for an end to school weigh-ins.
Marc Carriere is one of the politicians hearing from health professionals, phys. ed teachers, and parents.
"It's really important for us to hear what the people have to say, and then after that we'll be able to see what we will do," said Carriere.
When the hearings wrap up, the committee will make recommendations to the Ministry of Education.