Group suggests adding obesity to anti-bullying legislation
The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance proposed Monday to add obesity to an act that was created to combat bullying in school.
The Safe Schools Improvement Act of 2010 prohibits bullying based on actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion.
The NAAFA said omitting height and weight from the law was an egregious oversight.
A recent study from the Univ. of Michigan found that the odds of being bullied are 63 percent higher for children who are obese compared to their classmates who are of a normal weight.
The school-yard video of overweight 15-year-old Casey Heynes that went viral is a perfect example.
Heynes was teased and taunted for three years because of his weight. When the Australian boy could not take it anymore, he slammed one of his alleged bullies to the ground.
At the National Mall, kids shared their thoughts about bullying and weight.
"Some kids in my class kind of pick on others because they are overweight," said Owen Orkisz, 11-years-old.
One mother was skeptical an addition to the law would make an impact.
"You are not going to change anything by making a law," said Tammy Houser.
But another mother was more neutral.
"If they need to put that in legislation for people to take heed of it, then let it be done," said Anita Genes.
Perhaps, though, the responsibility lies in the parents, a father suggested.
"I don't think parents are doing their jobs," said Robert Orkisz. "It falls back on raising your kid correctly."