Shapewear offered to students for Miss. body image program

SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi middle school has canceled a program designed to educate students about body image after parents became angry over a form that offered students shapewear.

The form, sent by school counselors at Southaven Middle School, was meant to introduce a program to address societal stress on young girls to have “ideal” bodies, WMC-TV reported.

The letter asked for parental permission to give children health products, literature, bras and shapewear that had been donated to the school.

“I was really surprised,” Southaven Middle School parent Ashely Heun told WMC-TV. “I had to read it several times. Because I thought there’s no way this is saying what I think that it says.”

Heun said she emailed Southaven's principal to express her concerns. She also posted a photo of the letter on social media where commenters shared her outrage.

“There are girls who have a need for maybe bras or some other essential things that may be, for whatever reason, they don’t have access to and I absolutely love the fact that the school felt that maybe they could help with that. But shapewear should have never been in the conversation,” Heun said.

The DeSoto County School District said the school has canceled the program.

“The district has been made aware of the parental permission form sent to parents by Southaven Middle School,” Lauren Margeson, assistant to the DeSoto County Schools superintendent, said told The News & Observer in a statement. “District officials understand how this type of information causes serious concern from parents.