Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

States Letting Students Opt Out of P.E. 18

A school district in Des Moines, Iowa has joined a nationwide trend by allowing students to opt out of physical education classes. 32 states now allow kids to waive or substitute gym classes. Paula Kun, a spokeswoman for the National Association for Sport and Physical Education says: "Unfortunately, so many schools are having more and more waivers — particularly at the high school level. The great majority of high school students are required to take physical education only one year out of the four. They get out for religious reasons, for ROTC, for marching band. There's a whole slew of waiver possibilities."


This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

States Letting Students Opt Out of P.E.

Comments Filter:
  • Where the hell else are kids going to be active if not when they are locked up in school all day!
  • Sounds like the Des Moines school is actually going against the trend, not with it.
  • Ummm, if they're opting out to be in ROTC or Marching Band, I kinda think that's a valid substitute. If the goal is the get them into physical activities, I don't see how substituting physically strenuous activities for other physical activities is a problem. Unless you really think learning the fundamentals of badmitton is that important.
    • That's what I thought when I read this. When I was in High School we could get out of PE if we were in sports for that season. Personally I know that Cross Country, Basketball, then Track were much more physical exercise than PE. It looks like the article may have totally missed the point of PE though...
    • A lot of the problem with this mentality is that it is P.E., Physical EDUCATION. At my high school (c/o '08) the focus was only half physical activity, but the rest was spent in a classroom setting, learning about various aspects of physical and emotional health, learning about everything from nutrition to healthy relationships. That's the aspect that will be missing, and frankly, I think it's horrible that students are allowed to miss so much. We were only required to have one year, and most of us did PE
    • by Seumas ( 6865 )

      They need to stop wasting precious education resources and time on things that have nothing to do with being educated. If the point of school was to "produce a well rounded human being", they they would stress things like critical thinking and true civics comprehensions and teach kids about things like taxes. Since we have limited resources, how about we focus on things that will matter to producing productive human beings? I'm getting up there in my age and I can assure you that while I wrestled for a doze

  • PE is a joke. If the statistics on youth obesity are to be taken at face value, then clearly 50 years of P.E. is simply a failure at making a difference. If a person does not have an active lifestyle, forcing them to play sports with other people who are way outside of their skill set and physical capabilities isn't going to encourage them.

    Personally, I'm not buying the obesity epidemic propaganda. Maybe living in California means that people tend to be thinner, but when I drive past schools, or are
    • +1 Not only is P.E. a joke but it is an excuse for miserable, unhappy PE teachers to beat up on and insult their students. The answer to the problem lies in getting rid of the coziness of the FDA and Archer Daniels Midlands of America. For too long America's food industry has been allowed to sell us foods with added preservatives and chemicals under the guise of being nutritious but actually can be poisonous. Take, for example, nutrisweet, it breaks down to formaldehyde in the blood stream. But corpora
    • I had a gym teacher that was the real life foil to Billy Bob Thornton's character, Mr. Woodcock. An evil, condescending, smallish man.
    • 4 Things About Obesity:
      There's no exercise in P.E. [msn.com]
      The more your parents force you to "eat right" the more obese you get - I can't find the link again but will hunt on request.
      You can eat almost nothing but Big Macs and soda and be healthy [wikipedia.org].
      Viruses might be at least partly responsible for obesity [aolhealth.com]. One thing interesting is how quickly the paediatrician dismisses the study and gets back on the no-TV, soda, active lifestyle message. If it was going the other way, she'd not likely be criticising the small sa
      • Your post is at best intellectual fraud and at worst will actually harm people.
        1) Your assertion that this is a problem for bio engineers and scientists implies that until then we do nothing. We simply sit on our hands and cheer on the people in this situation who have control. The scientists. In one fell swoop you turn an entire demographic into powerless victims
        2) Point number 3 is brilliantly worded , by using the terms might be and partly at the same time they abdicate any responsibility for the content

        • Your post is at best intellectual fraud and at worst will actually harm people.

          It's not fraud because I don't stand to make any money. I should have stated that I am not a doctor or medical professional, and will do so in any further post about the matter.

          1) Your assertion that this is a problem for bio engineers and scientists implies that until then we do nothing. We simply sit on our hands and cheer on the people in this situation who have control. The scientists. In one fell swoop you turn an entire demographic into powerless victims

          Better than turning them into an evil, piggish group to be hated. Some are definitely powerless victims. Some may be able to escape. It won't be easy, and technology will solve the problem long before to social change people get off their asses.

          3)At one point you compare fidgeting to actual organized sport.

          That's the point of number 1. Think about a football game for a minute. Most of the

          • Your item 1 is beyond offensive, relying on science to solve this issue shows an underlying misunderstanding of this issue and the social ills it drags along with it.
            Because we can make someone thin doesn't mean we can make them healthy. Because we can regulate the storage of fat or sugar in a patients body doesn't mean we can cause an entire generation of people to care about themselves. We are talking about our bodies, we only get one, for our whole lives. The assertion that we should treat it with less t

    • by Seumas ( 6865 )

      PE really is a joke. I think that sports and physical "play time" isn't the role of school -- especially not when we're strapped for meaningful educational time and resources as it is. However, I recall back when I was in school and PE was an absolute joke. They did things like play dodgeball (which I guess they don't do anymore?). Or a game where you sat on a little square boar with tiny wheels and scooted your ass around the gym on it, playing some sissy nerf ball game. Or, at its most strenuous, playing

  • If not for P.E, then then kids who don't want to do it in the first place will never play a game outside or know the smell of fresh air. I firmly believe that everyone must do P.E, except for medical reasons.

  • I thought P.E. was short for "professional engineer". I suppose the two meanings of the abbreviation are sorta mutually exclusive - engineers would probably opt out of the kind of P.E. discussed here and those excelling in this type of P.E. would probably never pass the other kind of P.E., the kind that would make you attach those very letters to your business card... Maybe I should have P.E. attached to my card as well - although I've never taken a P.E. exam... blabla :-) Time for another coke!

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!