Should physical education and health classes be requirements for graduation?

Faith Wages, Reporter

Pe, health are not important to all

Jack began to feel his legs burn, but the destination was still a distance away. He felt as if his lungs were attacking him, pounding in his chest. His feet started to stumble, causing them to trip and fail at doing such a supposed simple task. After collapsing and trying to breathe he can feel eyes following him, labeling him as “out-of-shape”.

“I hate gym really because I am not an athletic person,” junior Kailee McGuire said. “I can’t run that fast, and I feel intimidated by everyone. I feel like taking a P.E. class shouldn’t be that big of a deal.”

In Gym, some students undergo conflicts that may be hard for them to defeat.

“Not everyone feels comfortable about changing around other people,” junior Bryce Chapman said. “For the kids who aren’t into sports or can’t throw a ball, it can be embarrassing when they have to do it in front of their peers.”

Some students may even believe that they shouldn’t have to take such classes if they do present themselves in such a way.

“I don’t believe you should have to deal with that if you don’t want to take P.E. or health,” sophomore Amya Alana said. “You shouldn’t have to take it if you feel like you’re going to be judged in some way.”

Students may think against these classes because judging between others takes place, resulting in an unwanted situation.

“In gym kids can be cruel,” Chapman said. “Judging happens all the time in gym; for example, before you start a game teams have to be picked, and the first people picked are always the ones with better athletic abilities.”

Students may be limited by these standards set.

“Some students can’t perform physically in P.E. and some parents don’t allow their kids in certain things,” Alana said. “But other kids aren’t at that level to understand.”

There may be other classes that will help us with our future more than these.

“There’s certain classes that people take that aren’t required that I feel should be necessary,” Alana said. “There’s other classes that can be beneficial, but I don’t believe you should have to take them to graduate.”

Life lessons can be lost when the focus is put on our physical education.

“I actually just got my W2’s, I didn’t even know what those were and they said it was something about taxes,” Alana said. “I started to wander why don’t they learn that kind of stuff in high school, but apparently it’s an elective, you don’t have to take it. I feel like you should have to take classes like that, cause that’s definitely necessary for your future. Things like ‘Personal Finance’ should be something we have to take.”

Maybe the war on such classes may be the strong efforts it takes to perform them.

“I feel like the downfall for P.E. specifically is people feeling intimidated by people who can run, who are stronger or faster than them.” McGuire said.

Some also believe there is no benefit for students to take these classes, either now or later.

“P.E. doesn’t sound like it should be necessary to graduate with,” McGuire said. “I don’t think I have any benefit from P.E. I don’t see how it could help in any of your other classes either. I want to be a writer, and I don’t think knowing how to be athletic would help me with a future story or something like that.”

Students may have worse experiences with certain teachers.

“I didn’t go here for P.E., I went to Northeastern,” McGuire said. “I have problems with my lungs and after we would run our daily laps if I tried to sit down, he would make me run more which would only make my breathing problems worse. I feel like it just depends on the teacher.”

Health may also have limits for certain students.

“Definitely having to see pictures of the different kinds of STDs, it’s really nasty,” Chapman said.

These classes may even be hard for some because of others.

“For health, the downfall in there is just the immature people.” McGuire said. “It’s like the warning label, most people choose not to listen to it.”


Pe, health important to some

Daniel felt the sweat soak on the back of his neck. He wiped his brow, breathing heavily on his knees. His friends pass, laughing and prompting him to keep going. He kicks up the effort to keep running, the effort to push himself.

“I think it’s good for people,” sophomore Hunter Burden said. “I know some don’t enjoy it but it will teach them how to be healthy.”

Gym may even influence your life for the better in some cases.

“It will introduce people to athletics and general health,” Burden said. ““After gym class, I started in sports and have gotten more fit from it.”

It may even encourage you to be better, helping you raise your current status.

“Gym helped by keeping me in shape and pushing me past my limits,” junior Ashton Saylor said. “Students learn the things they need later on in life.”

For some, it will help build who you are and who you’re going to be.

“They’ve helped me open up a little more,” junior John Cadle said. “Getting out of your comfort zone can be a positive, due to making new friends.”

They may take part in the future, guiding some when they need the knowledge.

“I’m for them, I think they’re helpful,” Burden said. “They’ll help me stay much healthier as an adult.”

Some students believe that certain teachers push their students too hard for a reason, even if it results in a bad experience, or maybe even hatred for the class.

“I believe it’s because they want the students to succeed in their education,” Saylor said.

In some cases, there may be students who agree physical education and health classes are just as important as your ordinary classes, like math and english.

“I believe they’re just as important,” Cadle said. “With knowing the horrible things that can happen with issues like STD’s and drugs, and learning how to stay healthy and stay in shape.”

With the knowledge that these classes give students, they may even encourage them to enjoy the course as well as teach them valuable lessons.

“If we didn’t get pushed to do things we didn’t want to do, we wouldn’t know if we really like that or not,” Saylor said.

Certain students may gravitate to these classes because it matches their skills easier.

“Most of the time, gym and health are relaxed classes,” Burden said.

Such classes may have a logical reason for the issues with judging and bullying.

“Mostly because kids are used to being around other skilled athletes, and once they are put into a class of people who may not have experience, they think of them poorly,” Burden said.

Classes with such deep material may also help students in ways that will stick with them.

“It helps kids understand what can happen with peer pressure and when you have health problems,” Saylor said. “It also teaches kids the safety about unprotected sex and what can happen when you don’t use protected sex.”

Lessons in life may even be more cemented with the help of these classes.

“I had unprotected sex with the guy I fell in love with and ended up getting pregnant,” Saylor said. “I had a miscarriage. It was hard at the time, but I have friends and family that helped me through it all. I’m glad I have those people in my life. I want people to understand what can happen when you have unprotected sex, and what the effects may be.”