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What would you do if this came home in your kids' homework? UPDATE with rest of paper. ANOTHER UPDATE, in red.

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My friend's son brought this home as his homework today:

I am completely shocked!  Her son is 5 and this is the garbage they are teaching.  Disgusting.  I told her, my ds wouldn't do it, and I'd be having a nice little chat with the teacher.  Your thoughts?

For those of you who were wondering about the rest of the paper, I asked my friend and she said the assignment was to match the right picture with the word.  Some of the other words were man, pot, cat, cow, fish, etc.  I still think it should have at least been an animal that was "fat" or something, not a little girl.  It just seems offensive to me, and not how I would want my kids to think of someone.

For everyone who has misunderstood and thinks I'm upset by the actual word "fat", I'll just respond to you all at once here...the word is not the issue.  The big deal is the fact that they labeled a little girl fat.  Factfully she is...but this opens the door for 5 year olds to think it's ok for them to call anyone who isn't skinny "fat" and that is NOT ok.  They should have used a cat, like when my DD (who is almost 8) was in Kinder, they read a book about a fat cat who sat on the mat...not a fat girl!  My DD saw this pic and she told me, "that is mean, Mommy, you are not suppose to call people fat.  Why didn't use the fat cat?"  My 7.5 year old gets it!  Fat is a word and used to describe things, but should not be used to describe a person.  Plain and simple.  Society has turned it into a mean and degrading term, wether it is said innocently by a child, it can still be hurtful to label a person as fat...and for those of you who say it's the parents' job to teach them not to call people fat, unfortunately not all children have the benefit of a parent who takes the time to care.  It's those kids who may look at little Suzie in the class (who is bigger than everyone else) and now associate little Suzie with the fat girl in their homework, and poor little Suzie is now the class fat girl!  And don't try to say it's not a big deal, if your DD happened to be little Suzie and came home upset because the kids in her class compared her to the fat girl on their worksheet, then you'd be singing a different tune.  The word fat, being fat, teaching kids what fat is, is not the issue...labeling a child as fat is. 

by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 3:27 PM
Replies (641-647):
by on Jan. 16, 2013 at 10:53 PM

Yeah, I do.

Quoting TheMrs407:

When was this originally posted? You think I'm the one with issues?! O.o

Quoting imasurvivor:

eye rollingDo you have an issue of some sort??? Who said anything about thin girls being bullies??? My goodness... you're too much & DON'T try & twist my comment around to be something it's not thank you!  

Quoting TheMrs407:

So now all thin girls (looks severely underweight, possibly anorexic or bulimic, probably a cheerleader and popular) are bullies. The picture of the thin girl is just as bad if we analyze her as well.

Quoting imasurvivor:

~ In all honesty... I think what's most disturbing is the way that it is illustrated.

Look again.. Which is more offensive?

The "word" OR the "picture" ?

Because to me, it looks as though the "thin" girl is giving the "fat" girl an attitude over the way she looks! 

"Fat" is a word. BUT this is not exactly the type of pic I'd like placed in my 5 year old child's subconscious mind ...that's for sure! 

by on Jan. 16, 2013 at 11:17 PM
1 mom liked this

I agree with the original post, since I was the "fat" girl in my class. I can totally see kids turning and saying "it's a picture of Uzma." Kids are so mean already, they don't need more fuel for the fire.

I just got mean, and they got smart enough not to say it to my face.That's when the teasing stopped.

by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 2:42 PM
1 mom liked this
You are so right. Your daughter is fortunate to have a mother who is teaching her to be sensitive and caring with her words. It's impressive that she told you it was "mean" and astonishing that her teacher was setting a poor example. We must teach good character BEFORE academics. Imagine doctors who love science and medicine and have no respect for human life... Imagine teachers who model name calling, and scientists that create bombs to destroy... Is this the world we want for our children? We are creating the future RIGHT now. It begins with their first teachers. The kids are looking to their parents and teachers to set a good example of compassion and kindness. We don't want academically smart kids who have no compassion and don't know the power of their words.
by on Jan. 20, 2013 at 2:47 PM
Hugs to you. I'm sorry that happened to you. When I was a teacher and I saw kids acting like that I put a stop to it immediately. That's why the kids felt safe and cared for in my classroom. I wish I could go back and defend you.
by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 7:13 PM

She has never said it again Im just saying that it is usually not that offensive to someone when its alittle kid and you dont have to be rude a bout even the lady she said it too said it was fine

Im sure if you lived here in Japan and everytime someone says Hey she asks if they speak Japanese or english that would probably annoy you too huh?

by on Jan. 24, 2013 at 8:52 PM
Exactly! No big deal!

Quoting quickbooksworm:

It's not that big a deal. Also, flipping out on the teacher is pointless because she doesn't pick the work, she just teaches what the district has chosen.
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by on Mar. 18, 2013 at 1:37 AM
1 mom liked this

The question is where do we draw that fine line between fat and skinny. I believe that adults will be able to handle a kid saying that, however, kids can be so cruel to other kids. What do they consider fat? Even if you consider it at the plus size level or somewhere beyond that, where is that defining line for your child.? There is skinny, thin, healthy, average, medium, chubby,  heavy, and so on. So if the child decides for themselves, they could potentially hurt the feelings of other kids whether we consider them fat or not. Communication with the child is the best defense against bullying. Besides, the children who get less communication (i.e. attention) is more likely to bully other kids. Talk to your children about "descriptive words" (because as you know, there are plenty more hurtful ones out there) and trust them to make the right choices. As for the homework, I see no reason to use the girl in the picture, as others have said, cat would've been better. I would've been angry too, however, I would have a great excuse for a sit down chat with my child.

On another note: the "fat" child who does the homework is the one that I would worry about. Growing up in school and around your peers is how you develop your sense of self worth. Even though chubby kids often grow up to be skinnier (i know because i started out skinny and ended up chubby when i hit puberty), but if they are teased excessively, the child has to find ways to cope. For instance...eating. So a certain percentage of the kids who get bullied  will strive to change or atleast accept themselves. And the rest will give up entirely. We hear it all the time "If people keep telling you something then it must be true". Some people don't have the strength to get past what people tell them. It is sad to see schoolbooks reference a little girl in the fat category.

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