Sequoit To Sequoit: Required Gym Class?


Let Me Be Exempt – Avery Frasch

Being an athlete isn’t easy, especially for busy high school students. Finding the right balance among school, work and sports puts an immense amount of pressure on students, but, there is a solution to help reduce the strain on student-athletes.

Gym class is a required class in District 117 and ensures that some kind of physical activity is part of everyday life; however, some athletes surpass the level of necessary physical activity per day. Whether participating in cardio-based activities or weight lifting, current student athletes are exercising before and after school hours. Even though that extra fifty minutes of being physical can be beneficial, using that period to eliminate the at-home workload would be much more practical. Homework, tests and projects can put a significant amount of stress on a student, but, when the athletes are getting home three or more hours after school ends, there is limited time to prepare for what is due that next day. Most student athletes are surpassing the level of needed physical activity, which is why gym classes should be exchanged for study halls to ensure the success of student athletes.

The workloads of high school students can be extremely demanding, creating the challenge of managing time efficiently. The purpose of a gym class is to encourage students to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but many believe it is a waste of time and athletes should be exempt from physical education classes. Considering 33 percent of the United States population is overweight, according to the Centers of Disease Control, if all student athletes are removed from gym classes, more time will be dedicated to the non-athletes, and teachers can be focused more on encouraging the ones that truly need it.

Balancing school and sports can be challenging. Coming home from a late night game or practice to pages of homework can take a negative toll on a students in-school success. In all honesty, the intensity of playing a varsity sport far exceeds the intensity of playing dodgeball, capture the flag, and occasionally running the pacer during a useless gym class for student athletes.

Just Require It – Eleni Sakas

I believe that all students should be required to take gym regardless if they are athletic or not. There’s no special privilege that should be applied, all students are equal. No one student is more important than the other.

Many schools have debated this and many believe physical education provides a way for all kids to get some form of exercise. It’s a vital part of the curriculum and every student should be able to undergo the experience of learning new techniques and virtues that the class withholds.

There’s also a benefit to having an extra 50 minutes of physical activity. It jump starts the student’s day and allows their brains to become attentive. For example, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, physical education classes increase test scores and students’ focus.

Also, the United States has a high obesity of 33 percent. Not every student is in the best shape and gym is the only class where they receive exercise whether they want to or not. Having another period of physical activity just ensures that the athlete will be in better shape and with that sustain a better performance. I understand that one can be tired and find the class pointless, but it’s not hurtful in the end. It makes the athlete stronger, faster, and it gives them time to reboot. It also allows for a chance to socialize with peers in a different classroom environment and give the student a break from core classes.

On the flip side, student athletes have to learn to manage their time accordingly, whether it’s waking up early in the morning or staying up late at night after practice to finish assignments. One can argue that in lieu of a gym class they can take a study hall to lessen the workload.

I feel that all students will learn from the required, fun class and it will help provide a path towards a healthy lifestyle if taught accordingly.