Mom outraged after athlete daughter, 11, received 'fat letter' - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Mom outraged after athlete daughter, 11, received 'fat letter'

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Courtesy NBC News

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How much information do you want from your child's school?

One Collier County mother claimed a notification she got about her daughter went too far.

It was a day Kristen Grasso will never forget - one that put her daughter at the center of a controversial letter.

"My first call was to my mother to say, ‘am I crazy, or is this wrong?'" said Grasso.

Meet Naples sixth grader Lily Grasso.  At 5' 3" and 127 lbs., the 11-year-old is a star volleyball player.

"Lily is athletic, tall, plays volleyball six days a week for two different teams. She's not overweight," said her mom.

But when school started last month, Lily brought home a letter from the Collier County Health Department, giving her parents the impression that she was being called overweight.

"We found that all over the country they call it the fat letter," said Lily's dad, Michael Grasso.

Florida state law requires students to get health screenings at the start of the school year.

In Lily's letter, her weight was labeled "at risk."

"It says 'at risk,' and then it tells you to go to their website. When you do that the 'at risk' turns to ‘Lily is overweight,'" explained Lily's mom.

Her parents are concerned about how the 11-year-old would respond.

"She doesn't want to be bullied. She doesn't want to feel like the school may bully her," said Lily's dad.

The department says the letter is part of a screening that urges parents to take their kids to their doctors and follow up; while noting the body mass index could be off for kids that are athletes.

"We always want parents to realize that it says so in a letter, and it's only a screening tool," said Deb Millsap, with the department.

Millsap says their intention is to never single out a child.

"Every parent, [even] if a child's screening is normal, receives a letter so no child is singled out," said Millsap.

But the Grassos wonder why even conduct a test that has the chance of being wrong, while potentially damaging a child's self-esteem.

"This letter can do no good. If a kid is overweight, they know they're overweight," said Lily's mom.

Read on NBC News

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