The physical education requirement should not be necessary for graduation

Michael Crater, staff writer

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, 7,980,886 high school students participate in a sport; that’s more than half of the students nationwide. With all of the students participating in some form of physical activity, physical education isn’t a necessary class because a large majority of students are already receiving the physical activity they need, so they shouldn’t waste the time in school. The time could be better spent taking classes to prepare them for their future.

In a city like Edina, staying active and being healthy is a concept that is integrated into many aspects of our community and promoted by all schools from Kindergarten to 12th grade. Events such as Bike to School Day and school or city sanctioned activities like park programs give students the opportunities to be active. Since there are plenty of parks, bike paths, and a pool at the disposal of many students, they should be able to partake in plenty of activities to stay healthy during the summer.

The Southdale YMCA also offers a set amount of free memberships for high school students for the summer as well, so that allows students to workout using equipment. During the school year, the weight room at EHS is open to any students who want to use it, so there are options for all seasons. All of this concludes to one thing: Whether students play sports or not, there is plenty of opportunities for them to exercise.

As well as limiting the classes students can take, gym class can cause insecurities among students. Social media creates a body image standard, one that can make students feel self conscious when they have to change in the same room. The problem occurs when the people they may compare themselves to is their peers, which could cause the aspect of changing to be difficult when they’re sharing the same space.

The hardest part for these students is their repercussions: “If we don’t change each class, we lose part of our daily participation points,” junior Matt Spanhake said. Participation points add up to a large portion of someone’s grade, so losing them can be detrimental. They’re faced with a choice: feel self-conscious about their body, or have a bad grade.

You should not have to do activities that could cause emotional stress if if you already exercise on your own or play a sport, for the purpose of filling some requirement that the school is forcing. It’s time that the school changes the requirements.