Dear LA Teacher,
This past week, the California Department of Education released the results of its annual physical fitness tests. They show that more than half of students attending the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) are overweight or at risk for obesity related health problems. Why isn’t LAUSD doing something about this?
Dear Angry Citizen,
State law mandates that first-through sixth-graders get at least 200 minutes of physical education every 10 days. Secondary students get 400 minutes every 10 days. You are pointing the finger in the wrong direction. Parents are the culpable party.
Just look around. Where you find a chunky kid you’ll find an overweight parent. Moms and dads provide the model of behavior for their kids.
Yes, the State Superintendent of Schools, Tom Torlakson gets out there to exercise with our kids and works diligently to rid schools of junk food. This is wonderful symbolism, but if parents don’t serve healthy meals at home and encourage their children to exercise daily, public programs like first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move Campaign,” lowering child obesity rates, is just going on deft ears.
Parents need to provide the role model of healthy living by providing fruits, vegetables, and a program of exercise for their children. It’s appropriate for state and federal programs to reinforce parental efforts at home, but if kids aren’t exposed to a healthy lifestyle by their moms and dads, programs introducing these concepts for the first time are a waste of taxpayer money.