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Letter: Fat-shaming lesson is against the law

Roberta Gerold, superintendent of the Middle Country School

Roberta Gerold, superintendent of the Middle Country School District, speaks during a press conference in Patchogue, May 28, 2015. Photo Credit: Ed Betz

Kudos to Roberta Gerold, superintendent of the Middle Country school district, for speaking out against a fat-shaming lesson in a sewing class ["LI teacher's 'fat' tips investigated," News, June 13].

The lesson appeared to mock and judge girls about weight. The real lesson here is that there is no place in school for mockery and disparagement.

Weight discrimination is a very real issue with a serious impact on students' lives. Shame and stigma are clearly poor motivators for good health.

This teachable moment is a reminder that New York's anti-bullying law, the Dignity for All Students Act, passed in 2010 and in effect in 2012, explicitly protects children from bullying, harassment and discrimination in school and lists weight as a specific, protected characteristic.

Alane Fagin, Roslyn

Editor's note: The writer is the executive director of Child Abuse Prevention Services, a volunteer organization that works in schools.

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