Why middle school students should have to take P.E.


photo by Lincoln Aftergood

Here’s why middle school students should be required to take Physical Education, after they were exempted from taking the class this year.

Lincoln Aftergood, Reporter

When I was in middle school, P.E. was a required, semester-long class that you needed to take in order to get sports credits each year. Now, middle-schoolers are no longer required to take P.E. each year. Instead, they can obtain their credits through participation on sports teams. However, I believe that P.E. should remain a required class as it enforces CESJDS’s values of leadership and hard work, and is also a good source of exercise for middle school students.

I took P.E. both in seventh and eighth grade, and learned many important lessons through the elective,. First, I learned how to both take leadership of a team and how to follow someone else. I learned how to work with people, even if I did not like them, and also how to keep a team together. Without P.E., I do not know where else I would have learned these lessons. 

For example, when I took P.E., we often played sports like football and soccer where passing and teamwork is crucial. This allowed students who were good at the sport to become leaders, and also led the other kids to learn from those leaders and embrace those values.

Another important reason that P.E. should not be made optional is that it will stop many of the kids who are good at sports from taking P.E., since they now do not have to take it. This in turn will deprive the rest of the students of the role models that help them learn hard work and the value of a team through playing different sports. 

You might think that it is just as beneficial for students to be able to get sports credits from school-affiliated sports teams that they are on. However, this is not as good an option as P.E. because you do not necessarily learn the same values from those teams, and you also do not always get playing time or a lot of exercise on those teams. 

Sports teams are usually more focused on winning and their league standing than teaching kids how to play or how to be a good teammate. During practice and games, more emphasis will be placed on the kids who have natural talent, and everyone else will be left behind. In this way, the kids will not get as much exercise, or learn as much as they would taking P.E.

P.E. plays a crucial role in teaching kids perseverance, leadership and how to work together as a team. Not only does it teach them these lessons, but it also gives them a new appreciation for sports and athletic activities, which in turn inspires them to try out for more competitive teams so that they can continue playing their favorite sports. 

Not only does P.E.  let kids exercise, but it allows them some free time to run around and get their extra energy out. P.E. is crucial as a class for kids to relax from the regular schedule of their academic schedule and have fun playing with their friends.

Most importantly, P.E. allows students to get 60 minutes of moderate exercise a day, which is the recommended amount by the Centers for Disease Control. This keeps students healthy and happy both in and out of school.