Glen Burnie High School's Student Newspaper

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Should Gym Class be Mandatory in High School?

Delaney Keane, Staff Writer

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There has been a big debate on whether or not gym class should be mandatory in high school and based on some research I have determined that it shouldn’t be.

Many kids enjoy the environment and activities that come along with gym class, but there are some negative aspects that seem to prove that gym class isn’t mandatory and shouldn’t be. For example, according to MSNBC investigation researchers found that gym class only keeps kids active for about 16 minutes. Being that classes range from 45-90 minutes long, 16 minutes is not long enough. So what is happening in all the extra time? The students are standing around doing nothing. The time that’s being wasted could be used in a common core class, or just a class that the kids are more passionate about.

Supporters of physical education believe the class does have a wide range of benefits, and they’re not entirely wrong. According to the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, physical education classes help kids develop fine and gross motor skills, coordination, self-esteem, etc. Being that the kids are already in high school, they should have already developed the basic skills and research shows that gym class isn’t building self esteem, but destroying it

Schools have adopted Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine if kids middle school aged have a healthy weight, but this index doesn’t include a child’s age or anything about what possible physical activity the child does or how much of their weight is muscle. This results in an inaccurate measurement. When the kids see this number, it results in panic, anxiety, and weight watching. Especially if compared with other students. Not to mention, locker rooms. The locker rooms can be a dangerous place and the teachers can’t do much to stop it. In the locker rooms, the student’s belongings get stolen or damaged, the students get sexually harassed/assaulted, body shamed, etc. Being that the kids have to change in front of all of their peers, it results in students failing the class.

I do not believe gym should be completely removed from the schools, I think whoever wants to take it should be able to. Another option is the kids who don’t want to take it, do it online or outside of school for a grade. To promote a healthy life style the students could be enforced to take health and nutrition classes instead.

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Glen Burnie High School's Student Newspaper
Should Gym Class be Mandatory in High School?