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Physical education requirement interferes with the schedules of students


By: Sasha Narang ’18

The way students view physical education is rather simple – some people love it, some people hate it, and I’ve come to the realization that a happy medium doesn’t exist. Regardless of one’s perspective, Staples students are required to take gym freshman, sophomore, and junior year of high school.

I’ve acknowledged the benefits of gym: 40 minutes of exercise, time to socialize with friends, and more knowledge on how to live a healthy lifestyle. But, to be completely honest, I’ve noticed far more disadvantages.

Staples offers an extremely diverse and abundant selection of courses; so many, I would consider an extra year of high school just to take the electives I don’t have room for.

However, if gym was not a requirement, this would not be an issue. We would have room in our schedules to pursue the subjects we genuinely care about, rather than spending a period of the day less efficiently.

“I know a lot of people who like gym and they should get to take it if they want. But I’m struggling to take the classes I’m interested in, and having gym as a requirement makes it that much harder.” Julia Bilotti ’18 said.

Another reason why Staples should not make gym a requirement is because it could potentially solve an important problem that a majority of student face: a lack of sleep.

How are students expected to perform their best in school if almost no one is getting the recommended eight hours of sleep? If those 45 minutes of the day were removed from the schedule and replaced with a later starting time, every student would benefit.

Margo Cerrone ’18 said that, “I think this solution is a great idea. I’m not sure how realistic it is, but I find myself going to bed as late as 2 AM on school nights. I would trade gym for sleep any day. ” Margo Cerrone ’18 said.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying Staples should get rid of gym. All I’m proposing is a reasonable solution that would make those who want gym and those who don’t happy: Don’t make it a requirement.

However, some people disagreed with my solution. In fact, Sasha Arellano ’17 said, “I learned to enjoy gym, mostly for the social aspect of it. It allowed me to hangout with my friends while also getting to exercise for a little. Not requiring it would prevent a lot of students from doing so.”

Health, on the other hand, I think is far more beneficial. Learning about the dangers of alcohol, different methods of contraception, and more within that field is important for the knowledge of students.

Maybe one quarter throughout the year is dedicated to this? A semester? Anything other than a full year period of gym.

Ultimately, there is no right answer. Making physical education an option would benefit far more people than not.

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