Is P.E. beneficial to students?

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Whether PE is beneficial to students or not is a controversial topic to not only students but also the many school districts around the world. Some say that PE helps students be healthy, and keeps students aware of their overall health. Others don’t care about the health factor and claim that PE is only used to get credits for graduation or is just a fun thing to do rather than take regular classes. PE is a required class to take at Washington for freshmen and sophomores. Many students have different opinions and views on the matter. 

“I enjoy PE because it’s fun to do,” says junior varsity wide receiver and defensive back Pedro Garcia. “I get to meet new people, and I get to run around after sitting in five other classes. My mind is free to wander.” On the contrary, junior Rohan Jolly says, “I took it because I needed credits, I found no benefit in having to take PE.” As you can see, Washington students have split opinions on the situation.

Researchers also have conflicting opinions on PE. One source says “PE in school provides self discipline, stress reduction, improves academics, and provides regular physical activity.” On the other hand, Analisa Packham, an economics professor at Miami University in Ohio, says “Students are more likely to be bullied during PE than any other class because it gives opportunity for teasing of overweight or unathletic kids.” Sources also explain that students have been found skipping PE class or refusing to dress out because of students feeling uncomfortable. Different sources explain that students can build bonds and friendships with others because of the activity and collaboration that PE provides.

The state of California requires students to take at least two years of PE to graduate from high school. Garcia says, “PE needs to be required for kids to get exercise and have fun with their fellow classmates.” In March 2020 Gavin Newsom waived the minimum requirement of PE in schools in California due to the COVID pandemic. Jollys says, “If kids really don’t want to do or are not interested in PE they will just skip or not try in the class which will waste the time of the student and the teachers.” PE is seen by some as a beneficial and healthy activity and by others as useless and a waste of time.

About the author

Xavier Walker is a current junior at Washington High School. He was born and partially raised in Oakland, CA. This is Xavier’s first year on the paper. Xavier likes to write about sports as well as health. Xavier loves playing sports and is on the Washington football and basketball team. He also loves to draw. Xavier’s future plans are to continue playing sports in college.

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