Should Physical Education Be Required in High School?

The Aurora School Board doesn’t think so.

Yesterday, EdNews Parent Colorado published Aurora board drops PE grad requirement with a vote of 5-2 to eliminate health and physical education from its graduation requirements, while increasing math, science and language requirements.

In order for Colorado students to attend Colorado’s public four-year colleges or universities, students need to meet the Higher Education Admission Requirements and sometimes additional requirements that individual colleges and universities require. But students should be able to meet those requirements without removing the HS PE requisite.

Ensuring that our students get a world class education is essential, especially in this highly competitive global economy, but removing PE may not be the answer in an age when obesity is increasing and health issues related to obesity are on the rise.

Physical Education in school gives students the opportunity to be active and improves overall health while building life skills. It’s important to increase blood flow to the brain and improve circulation by getting your body moving. Just think of a typical school day where students are in a brick and mortar setting for approximately 7 hours. In elementary school, students may be able to enjoy recess once or even twice a day on top of recess after lunch, but what about HS student who don’t get that ‘outlet’ during a 7-hour stretch? Providing time for physical activity leads to better concentration and an overall feeling of a healthier you. Developing good healthy habits at a young age and a lifestyle both good for the mind and body will carry over into adulthood.

There are some students who get their fill of physical activity after school in extracurricular activities or sports, but what about those students who for whatever reason don’t have the luxury of being able to participate in an organized sport or have the support and motivation at home to encourage a healthy lifestyle?

I understand there is a funding issue, but is removing the PE requirement the answer?
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  1. Thats crazy. It makes me so sad when schools cut PE and Arts- I know like they seem like the easy thing to cut…but a child needs those outlets for health and creativity- and vitality. Sad times:(

  2. I don't understand the direction the school systems are taking at all, and it makes me very sad. There is such a need for balance in education, but it isn't happening anymore at all…
    My recent post Updates On My Insides

  3. I am a high school teacher, and I see so many obese and out of shape young people at a time in their lives when they should be so healthy. Physical activity is essential. It is appalling that schools are making such misguided decisions. PE should be required.
    My recent post Learning To See

  4. marie leslie says:

    Not a smart move. Physical health is essential to mental health and these kids need to have the opportunity to not sitting in a classroom all day long. The exercise and mental break that PE provides is critical.

    Sadly, though, it's not a surprise. My daughters were exempted from middle school PE in New Mexico because they were gifted. Apparently, they think the smarter you are, the less important it is to be fit?

  5. Boy this seems so crazy doesn't it? It's in research the kids learn better with physical activity so why would you want to take it out of school. It also doesn't help with the decline in our kids being healthy just all around. I think it's really sad. =/

  6. Something else that really bothers me about this is that some kids, who aren't academically successful have PE as a chance to shine. A chance to be the kid who "gets it." Taking that away will take the self esteem boost away from those kids. Very sad.
    I can't imagine making the school day longer and more sedentary will help the drop out rate at all. Poor decision, I think.

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