TODAY   |  October 08, 2013

6th-grade girl sent home from school with ‘fat letter’

Florida state laws mandating health screenings at school are sparking controversy after an athletic sixth-grader was sent home with a letter saying she had an “at-risk” body mass index and therefore was overweight.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> a florida law that requires students to have health screenings is stirring up controversy. the parents of a young girl in florida spoke out about their family's experience with what they say is a hurtful fat letter.

>> 6th grader lily is a star volleyball player. at 5'3", 120 pounds she looks like your average 11-year-old.

>> she is athletic and tall.

>> but when she started school she was sent home with a letter from the health department . it said she was overweight. they require all public school students to get health screenings at the start of the year. her body mass index puts her at the category of at risk.

>> it says that and tells you to go to their website and the at risk turns to lily is overweight.

>> reporter: they worry what effect the so-called fat letter will have on their daughter.

>> don't send the letter home with the kids. how hard is it to put the letters in the mail.

>> reporter: a spokeswoman says these screenings are meant to alert parents to potential health problems.

>> we want parents to realize that it's only a screening tool.

>> reporter: but they don't think a hurtful letter is the answer.

>> this letter can do no good. if a kid is overweight, they know they're overweight.