OPINION: Should 1 semester of PE and Health be required to graduate?

In order to graduate and get your diploma, it is required that you have taken at least one semester of health and one semester of Physical Education. I personally do not agree with this requirement. In middle school, students take a semester of PE and Health each year, therefore I do not find it necessary to repeat it in High School. Many students take AP classes to prepare for college or get ahead on college credits, so if they could have an extra period to take an academic class, I believe they should be able to do so. There are a few exceptions to the requirement of a semester of PE; varsity sports being one. If you participate in a Varsity sport and letter, then you are given the option to take a small skills test and run a mile under 8 minutes to be exempt from the PE class.

There is a controversy over the number of overweight kids nowadays, but is one semester of PE really going to impact those kids? Most likely not. On the other hand, I do agree health should be required to graduate. Sex Ed, food & nutrition, weight management and exercise, mental health issues, drugs, safety and first aid are only some of the many important topics taught to students in health class. This knowledge is vital to acquire as a young student before being sent off in the real world. When preparing for your driver’s licence test, you must have an ADAP certificate, which can be earned in your health class.

When asked if a semester of health and P.E. should be required to graduate, Health Teacher Karen Cushman said, “Health absolutely should be required in high school in fact I believe it should a year course as opposed to 1 semester! I teach lessons that can save lives. Last week we focused on STIs (sexually transmitted infection), teen pregnancy, and this week we are focusing [on] teen dating violence. I teach life skills, decision making, and more importantly I give my students the skills to become healthy, happy, successful individuals.”

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