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Athletes and Physical Education


The argument of athletes and if they should be required to have a physical education credit, has been going on for years now. Should students that already put in work with practices for school sports teams, or club teams, have to do more physical work? Some schools in the United States have actually changed their law because of this controversy.

Schools such as York High School, and Lyons Township have exempted students from PE, or modified it for them. Everyone has a different standpoint on this, which is causing this problem to keep arising.

According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, children from the ages of six to seventeen should be active for a hour or more a day. But, don’t athletes get more than just one hour of exercise already from just practice?

A recommendation made by the, American Heart Association, is that at least 150 minutes per week of Physical Education in elementary schools and at least 225 minutes per week in middle schools and high schools. Right now, only schools in Oregon and the District of Columbia meet that requirement.

Now, the current law in Illinois is that, all schools in Illinois must offer PE to students every day. But, some elementary schools can get a waiver from the state saying they are allowed to only have PE once a week.

So, instead of starting this waiver at a later age, say for high schoolers, we are giving this option to kids that are in kindergarten through fifth grade. At that age you need to be active and moving around, so having another sport on top of PE while you’re in elementary school doesn’t hurt at all, if anything it gets the kids up and moving around more. Being that age, all you want to do is play outside and chase your friends around the playground. Not, sit in a classroom all day, because that time comes in high school and college.

Select high schools in Illinois, exempt all students, or juniors and seniors from PE, and substitute them with another core class. But this can only happen if they are a junior or senior, and if they are involved in, an interscholastic sport, Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, or marching band, which actually can exempts freshmen and sophomores too.

But, physical education does more than just keep you active for an hour a day. Those physical education teachers actually do have a job that they have to do with their class. They not only keep you active, but teach you why PE is important, and the foundation of a healthy lifestyle.

A report has been brought to our capital, to not just exempt students but to modify the workout or activity they are doing, so that way the student is still doing something. Some school administration agree with this report because they believe that PE makes the human brain learn better, and makes students have better behavior. Just getting that one hour of exercise a week, can improve your memory, and thinking skills.

So, where do you stand? Team athlete? Or Team PE?

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Student Publication of Oswego High School, Oswego, IL