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Sophomore Co-op classes safety is being questioned after several students injured

Alexis Jacobs ’26
Miles Khan ’26 and Anderson Yee ’26 preparing to climb the Vertical PlayPen in their Sophomore Co-op class.

Have you ever looked at a teenager and thought to yourself, “Wow I would trust them to keep me from falling from the ceiling.” Probably not. It is a known fact that teenagers are unreliable.

But the Staples physical education course Sophomore Cooperative Games (Co-Op) puts students safety in the hands of teenagers. Yes, teenagers. Sophomore co-op games should not be a required credit as it puts too much trust and responsibility on students and the results have been dangerous. 

It has been less than a year since the course opened,  and there have already been at least two students sent to the nurse this year due to falls. 

Surali Kapadia ’26 was in class when she witnessed one of her classmates fall from the outdoor course while climbing. According to Kapadia, the classmate fell because the students who were belaying the climber miscalculated and let go of the ropes holding him up. The student ended up being fine, but did fall from over 10 feet high. The fall showed Kapadia and other students in her class that Sophomore Co-Op is not safe, for the rest of the quarter her class did not climb on the course. 

Sophomore Cooperation is a one-quarter physical education credit needed from all Staples students as a graduation requirement. According to Staples Physical Education teacher Nicole Comeford, the goal of this course is to get students to understand social and emotional well-being, and how as a group, you can work through obstacles. 

Sophomore co-op games should not be a required credit as it puts too much trust and responsibility on students and the results have been dangerous. 

— Alexis Jacobs ’26

That being said, it is clear to me after taking this course that the on-ground exercises are not taken seriously by students, and therefore leave many unprepared for off-ground work. This not only affects that individual, but affects the entire class’s safety. 

Jordan O’Brien ’26 is a second student who fell this school year. She fell while climbing the A-Frame walk activity. Her team accidentally let the ropes slip causing her to fall with her ankle caught underneath the wood, spraining it. 

“There was a moment of shock where I thought I was fine,” O’Brien said, “followed by a lot of pain.” 

When reflecting on the fall, and the class in total, O’Brien sees real dangers in requiring the class.

“I think that the teachers and people running the class have done everything they can to make it safe, but the class itself is not safe,” O’Brien said.“The nature of the activities pose so many risks, especially when having teens keep track of safety mechanisms.”

After taking the class for the full quarter, I have come to the conclusion that the class has a good mission, and I do see some of its value. This being said, it is evident that this course pushes some students too far out of their comfort zone, and causes injury. Therefore, I believe that Sophomore Co-Op should be an elective course, not a requirement.

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About the Contributor
Alexis Jacobs ’26, Staff Writer
Staff Writer Alexis Jacobs ’26 is extremely passionate about dance and its community, which is what initially brought her to enroll in Advanced Journalism.  “I love the environment at dance and how we all support each other and grow together,” Jacobs said. “That’s why I chose to join Inklings; it’s a similar community.”  Ultimately, Jacobs’ love for writing, as well as her blooming passion for journalism, is what drove her to join Inklings.  “I really like to write,” Jacobs said. “This class gives me the freedom to write about what I’m passionate about and share my thoughts with the school.” 

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