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PE Hall Pass

Elliot Nelson, Staff Writer

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Should Athletes Be Exempt From PE Class?

As seventh hour rolls around each day, Sam Gainer (12) heads to PE class already exhausted following six long hours of classes and yet the day is only halfway over. Running on fumes at this point, Gainer must compete in PE class to earn his participation points and then further forge ahead to his two hour long lacrosse practice. Sure, everyone endures long, straining days, but for Gainer, a 12 hour day five times each week is typical.
6:30 a.m. comes early the next day and Gainer’s alarm marks the start of another school day. In class by 7:25, Gainer begins minute one of what will be six hours of soaking up knowledge and one hour of physical activity.
After completing the school day, most students depart from LHS and head for home. For Gainer, home will not be in sight for another two hours as he gears up for practice.
Digging out every bit of energy he can, Gainer finally reaches the end of a long day, sort of. As he finally drags himself home, there is still an hour or two of homework ahead of him. After washing up, eating dinner, and completing his homework, Gainer collapses into bed around 11:00 and hopes to get a short seven hours of sleep before he restarts the cycle for another orthodox, for him, weekday.
So what if an athlete like Gainer had the choice to opt out of PE class?
Two hour practices for an athlete of any sport takes time, dedication, and most of all, potent energy. For athletes participating in any of the wide variety of sports offered at LHS, daily two hour practices drain students, and a PE class on top of that does not benefit these athletes. The issue is that the physical tests taken in all PE classes are required by the state.
PE teachers could set up a day of testing where athletes would own the option of complete the required tests allocated to receive a PE credit. On the other hand, PE classes are an hour long and at LHS, students are required to complete two semesters to graduate.
Someone opposed to this idea could have some valid counters, one variable being the online PE class. Students have the ability to take a class online to earn a PE credit, but the dilemma is that athletes looking to save energy and time in an already packed schedule would be adding more homework to the plate.
Another outlet is to complete a summer PE class to avoid taking it during the school year, but yet again athletes struggle to work around the summer practices held by their sport.
PE teacher and coach of three different sports, Ben McNeely (PE Department), also opposed this idea and agrees that a PE class affords more than required exercise.
“My goal is to promote healthy living and a healthy lifestyle. I want my students to develop a healthy lifestyle through my class that will help them throughout their lives,” McNeely stated.
Though McNeely recognizes the perspective of contradictors, athletes of his classes to be congratulated.
“I understand those viewpoints, but at the same time my athletes are my best students. I take into account that athletes need rest and I allow that,” McNeely said.

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