Parent hits out at school for sending pupils home with flyers for weight loss organisation

The Slimming World flyer that was sent home in pupils' homework folders.
The Slimming World flyer that was sent home in pupils' homework folders.

A Lisburn parent has criticised a local primary school after pupils were sent home with flyers advertising Slimming World.

The angry mum, who didn’t want to be identified, has accused Tonagh Primary School of “body shaming” after leaflets for the weight loss organisation were included in children’s homework folders on Friday, September 1.

However, responding to the criticism, the principal of the school stressed that there was no intention to cause any offence to pupils or parents.

The flyer advertising a money off deal shows a woman in a red dress and carries the slogan ‘live happy! with Slimming World’. It’s understood it was distributed by the school in response to a request from another parent.

The disgruntled mother-of-two who contacted the Ulster Star said she was unhappy with the content of the flyer, accusing the school of “body shaming”.

“I fail to see how this is part of the curriculum,” she said.

“On Friday evening after a long day at work I came home to find a Slimming World flyer included in my daughter’s homework folder - no homework, but this form of body shaming.

“It may be good intentions on the part of the school, however I have two daughters and I don’t see how it’s relevant to their education.

“The flyer was actually in my daughter’s homework folder - the school had put them in there - but it has nothing to do with education whatsoever.”

She continued: “Kids, and especially younger girls, see how women are judged by their size every day, more so online with social media. How many girls get bullied about of their size and appearance?

“Primary school children who are learning to read shouldn’t be given promotional advertising suggesting happy lives are for slim people.”

Responding to the parent’s concerns, the principal of Tonagh Primary School, Alison Stevenson, issued a statement insisting that distribution of the flyer to parents wasn’t meant to cause any offence.

“The school periodically receives requests to distribute information to parents. These requests are typically from organisations that provide services to the local community,” she explained.

“Tonagh Primary School distributes information where it may be of interest to the school community and/or parents. It is certainly not our intention to cause any offence to parents or children of this school,” the principal added.