DEBATE: Is there such a thing as 'too fat to teach'?
On this morning’s show, we were joined by journalist Hilary Freeman who says the overweight teacher she met at a prospective nursery was one of the main factors in deciding not to send her daughter there - as it sets a bad example.
The headline has caused a global debate, but does she have a point? Should role models like nursery school workers and teachers be setting a better example when it comes to size?
Joining Hilary to discuss the topic was mum and plus-size blogger Becky Barnes, who strongly disagrees.
Explaining how the story came about, Hilary said, “I’d been concerned when I went to visit a nursery that one of the nursery assistants who was looking after my daughter when she was visiting was very obese, morbidly obese I would say. She moved very slowly, she couldn’t breathe very well, and I was just concerned that she wouldn’t be able to have the reactions necessary to look after a toddler who darts all over the place.
“At the nursery, the food choices I saw weren’t the sort of things I’d give my daughter, they were having jam sandwiches and I just thought this wasn’t a helpful lesson to teach her really. I wanted her to go somewhere where there was better food choices and where obesity wasn’t the norm.”
Talking the opposing view, Becky commented, “I think that you can’t make snap judgements on people’s health just by looking at them. Fat people are constantly vilified every single day because of their appearance, because of their so-called health choices or perceived health choices and of course [the article] is going to touch a nerve.
“If you’re doing that job and you’re doing that job well, you deserve to be in that job regardless of your size.”