An historically black college in Pennsylvania is preventing more than two dozen seniors from graduating not because of their academic standing or disciplinary measures, but for the simple fact that they are fat.
Inside Higher Ed and the Associated Press reports that Lincoln University in Oxford, Penn. is threatening the group of 25 students with their hard-earned diplomas because they have not taken the “college-sanctioned” steps to show that they’ve lost weight or have at least tried. This is the first class required to either have a BMI below 30 or to take “Fitness for Life,” a one semester class — that they are forced to pay tuition for — that mixes exercise, nutritional instruction and lectures on the health risks of the Big Bad Obesity Epidemic. James L. DeBoy, chair of Lincoln’s health, physical education and recreation department, said he sees it as his “professional responsibility to be honest and tell students they’re not healthy” — and apparently to prevent them from graduating unless they comply.
Right. Because fat people simply don’t know they’re fat. And they’re not bombarded on a daily basis with an arsenal of the so-called health risks of being fat. Why stop at fat people? I mean, aren’t thin people just potential future fatties? Why not push the obesity fearmongering and weight-stereotyping onto the entire student body?
Frankly, I don’t know what’s worse: the blatant discrimination shown here by the school, or the fact that a historically black college is the body enacting the discrimination.
An online petition has been started here. Send outrage to: James L. DeBoy, firstname.lastname@example.org; President Ivory V. Nelson, email@example.com