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Sports players should not take gym

Delaney Smith l Feature Editor


Planning courses for the next school year always seems to be a stressful time.


As one fills their schedule, the little windows on the back of the newspaper-style course registration planning guide go from what seemed like an infinite amount to a mere none.

There’s no need to fret though. One can likely still fit in all of the new courses they would like, right?


Wrong.


Thanks to the three half credits of gym necessary to graduate there’s no longer a debate between taking pottery or welding. Why take either when you could just take general PE?


All students are required to take at least three gym classes to graduate. They can be completed in the same year or different years and during the school year or virtually in the summer.


Nonetheless, the credits must be there.


While some students enjoy the physical activity and non-academic atmosphere of gym class, many students see gym classes as a disturbance to their day. Gym classes take up valuable schedule space and often lack the physical activity founded in their purpose.


Most students take a gym course their freshman, sophomore, and junior year although some students double up along the way to create more space for later years. The gym requirement limits students incredibly in terms of courses available to them.


Freshmen already have so little choice in their schedule as many only end up with a half credit to fill with something they truly want to take. If a freshman did not have to take gym, many more opportunities would emerge.


Suddenly, they would be able to take Broadcast Video Production 1 or even a study hall to balance a possible busy schedule. For all grades, not being required to take a gym class gives students more freedom to explore their interests and possible passions, which fosters a more positive school experience.


On top of the limitations they place on scheduling, gym classes often fall short of their physical exertion goals. Gym classes are popularly mandated in schools to ensure that all students participate in a heathy amount of physical activity.


Because of the 45-minute class time, including time needed to change clothing and introduce the day’s activity, gym classes fail to fully take advantage of physical activity. Due to these constraints, students often end up spending more time preparing to exercise than truly doing it.


While exercise is the emphasis behind the gym requirement, gym classes do not offer consistent levels of it. Performance strength training spends the majority of their time lifting in the weight room, but, on the opposite end of the spectrum, the lifetime activities course spends a unit geocaching.


If physical exertion is the goal behind gym class, what is the standard for it?

Gym classes are frequently a hindrance to students, but they also act as a break. Gym classes allow students to participate in endorphin-releasing activities while engaging with others in a social atmosphere.


Gym classes enable students to get out of their desks and shake off their testing mindsets. They lighten the load of school for some students.


Gym classes are a requirement to ensure that students exercise regularly. Therefore, if a student participates in two sports, they should be exempt from the gym requirement for their years of participation.


Athletics are a voluntary school activity that many students engage in. They challenge students with plenty of physical activity, like the goal of gym classes, but they also offer what is seen as a more appealing environment to many.


Sports enable students to compete, be on a team, and dedicate a significant amount of time to something that they genuinely care about. Sports check all the boxes that gym classes aim to, and participating in two a year ensures that students are regularly exercising.


While gym classes should still be required for non-two sport athletes and available to interested students, participation in two sports per year should grant students the ability to pass over the gym requirement.

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