Ky parents concerned over 'body-shaming' assignment

Source: WYMT

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WYMT) -- Some parents in Southern Kentucky say they are concerned about an assignment their elementary-aged children received.

The assignment had children choose between two drawings to identify what fits the description of "fat". It was given by teachers at a Laurel County elementary school.

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"I got the folder out to see what she had in it, going over what she had on the paper. It had examples. On the last one it said 'fat' and had an example of a more chubbier girl and more skinnier girl," said concerned parent Laura Lee Lewis.

Lewis' 1st grader had the assignment in her reading mastery class. She said she was shocked at the images chosen in the curriculum and believes something different should have been used.

"They have to teach the kids the words for descriptions for things. They used the words with those pictures that really bothered me more than anything," Lewis said.

The mother said she was bullied as a little girl and fears the same will happen to her daughter.

"The way they illustrated it. It bothered me more than anything," said Lewis. "Big girl being put on display. Just really hurt."

We asked Laurel County school officials to look into this and they gave a statement that no parents had contacted them but that they are reviewing the curriculum to identify the concern.

"I had to explain to her that it was body shaming. Even if it was a skinny girl or the example for 'skinny'. I feel that would still be body shaming that person because some don't want to be called that," Lewis explained.

She says the curriculum could have used something other than people, especially children, for the word description.

"They could have used an animal. I gave an example of a cupcake, bigger cupcake or little cupcake," Lewis said. "My daughter is already aware of it. She heard somebody call someone fat at school. She said 'that's not right. You should not do that.'"

Lewis said she does not blame her daughter's teachers but believes the curriculum needs to be checked to make sure it is not offensive.

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