Athletes Deserve Exemptions


As Franklin High School continues to make changes to their curriculum for the coming years, one possibility that has not been discussed enough is the option of giving student athletes exemptions from physical education requirements. This is an idea that has been implemented at other area high schools, including most recently at Greendale High School, that has granted students more opportunities to advance their academic career. Removing the requirements gives them more space in their schedules, allowing them to explore other interests and take more rigorous and (arguably) more important academic classes.

The whole point of mandated physical education classes is obviously to ensure that students get enough physical activity in order to combat the nation’s rising obesity epidemic. However, school gym classes do not make enough of a difference as it is, and are definitely unnecessary for those already participating in a sport. The typical sports season in high school is about 3-4 months long, with athletes usually practicing or competing for at least 2 hours a day, five days a week. After calculations, an athlete gets a minimum of 120 hours of physical activity. A semester of gym, however, includes between 3 and 4.5 hours of exercise per week, for around 5 months. That adds up to approximately 90 hours of activity in total. This is still a generous total, considering most blocks of gym do not provide a complete hour and a half of exercise, due to the amount of time that is spent changing, going over instructions, and moving between activities. These numbers show that the amount of exercise that would be gained during a sport far exceed the amount that would be gained during a semester of gym class, proving the lack of necessity for athletes to be required to take these classes.

Many of our school’s student athletes are highly motivated individuals who have set goals in terms of their future plans. Allowing them the opportunity to take classes that are more tailored to their interests, and better prepare them for future success, is a far more sensible option than forcing them into taking one and a half credits of physical education. Especially with the ever-increasing competitiveness among college admissions, students should be given every opportunity to increase their chances of getting into their top choice schools. Letting students who already receive enough physical education choose to instead take other classes that will better prepare them for college would be a step in the right direction for FHS. You decide… check out the poll below to share your opinion.

 

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4 thoughts on “Athletes Deserve Exemptions

  • January 23, 2014 at 8:07 AM
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    Great article! The idea of allowing exemptions is great as it not only allows for more time in a students schedule for more classes, but it also allows students to explore other electives that they may have never thought of as being a fit for their schedule. With the wealth of elective and academic classes that FHS offers, what students need is more time to try more of them out.

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  • January 23, 2014 at 9:07 AM
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    Interesting article. As a prior cross country runner, I did find physical education class to be a bit too repetitive, and even inhibiting to my athletic season at times. Allowing students to grow in their sport of interest would allow athletes to take another class rather than spending time in a class that can sometimes fall short of the high expectations most athletes are exposed to and practice on an everyday basis. For those who wish to take regular PE, there will be a more level playing field (quite literally) so students who may not wish to perform at a competition level, but want to stay active, can feel comfortable. And with the brand new athletic facilities opening more opportunities on the way, it’s not unlikely that such a plan may be considered in the near future.

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  • January 23, 2014 at 12:16 PM
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    I feel like Phy Ed. classes have more to offer than just physical activity. You get exposure to new things by playing organized games, and it might even inspire you to try something new. Besides, how much physical activity are Phy Ed. classes actually giving you? It’s one semester a year and like you mentioned there is almost less time spent doing the games than changing and going over instructions.
    I get the idea that other schools have it and you can take more important classes, but with block scheduling and I think athletes have plenty of space to do “fun” or “easy” classes like gym. Almost all athletes like gym class anyway so I don’t see why it’s a big deal.
    You have good points though. I just don’t think it’s enough to put the exemptions in place.

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  • February 3, 2014 at 12:49 PM
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    I don’t get it. PE classes at Franklin High School are an encore class, which means its their choice to take it. Are you implying that athletes are forced to take gym classes? I mean sure, 3 classes of your ENTIRE high school career has to be physical education — but let’s be real, 1.5 credits is perfectly suitable for athletes and should not get in the way of other academics. Being a wrestler I view myself as everyone else because simply, my sport is not during school hours. Nor is any other athletes.

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