Taking GYM Out of Schools

Updated on September 28, 2011
J.K. asks from The Colony, TX
20 answers

I just saw that there is talk about taking PE Classes out of school. With children in our society having such a high obesity rate, taking GYM out of our school system wouldn't be the best idea, IMO. What do you think?

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answers from Chicago on

Wow! I was not aware of that, my kids go to private schools but it is just so sad they they cut budgets to schools, libraries, park districts but would not touch public aid recipients and are thinking about extending unemployment benefits. Democrats suck! I cannot wait for this presidency to end.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Depends what grades you are talking about.
Gym (and recess) in elementary really helps kids run off some energy.
In middle school my son has PE every day for 2 weeks followed by 1 week of health class - but some of the PE activities are less physical (not as much exercise) than others.
In high school PE is a requirement in grades 9 and 10, and is optional in grades 11 and 12 because many kids are taking college classes.
I remember taking gym in high school and it was a joke and a complete waste of time - you could take activities that guaranteed you never broke a sweat.
That's why my son takes after school taekwondo.
Others take dancing, gymnastics, soccer, baseball and other sports outside school.
You really need some supplemental physical activity and you can't count on a school providing it.
Parents allow their kids to choose to sit on a couch in front of a tv or play on the computer and then want schools to fix all the sitting around the kids do and that just doesn't work.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Austin on

FYI, To Sunni.. It was under Gov. Rick Perry that or education budget was the FIRST thing cut in the state budget.. so get ready if he becomes Pres. He has never supported Public schools. . He is just follow the Gov. George W. Bush who pushed the failed No child left with any money for schools, Oops, "No child left behind..

Pres. And Mrs. Obama are the ones pushing for more physical education and healthier meals in schools..

They may take Gym out of schools, but if it is like here in Texas.. the Classroom teachers are now having to take the kids out every day and do exercises with them.. It usually takes time away form the teachers who use this time for grading, conferences and planning. one more job for them to do with more students and little pay.

Some families can afford organized sports, but others cannot and once a child gets home, you know how quickly it gets dark.. hard for them to run around and play after all of the homework.

Just means parents will have to step up.

I think it is a huge mistake. Kids need to move around during the day.. There is going to be a lot more discipline problems without Physical education.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Wow, I'm surprised to read your post especially (as you said) with the high child obesity rate. Not only does my childs school have PE three times a week, but recess daily and right after lunch (before recess) they walk for ten minutes each and every day regardless of the weather conditions (of course they won't be walking outside in the rain / snow but will be walking the hallways instead). I think eliminating PE class would be a bad move ..

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

Not only because of the obesity rate, but because of the energy level kids have, I think that would be a bad move!
Not sure why they would do that, especially with so many children spending so many after school hours on computer games and tv.

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answers from Chicago on

The body and mind are one and the same. To work the mind, you need to work the body.

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answers from Lincoln on

My son only goes to PE once a week and when I was in school we went every day. I know that the high schools still have PE and I would be shocked to see them pull it. In this area athletes are next to gods, so I wouldn't see them pulling anything that would stunt that. I too, am shocked that with the obesity rate that we are promoting kids being more sedentary. Also, I think kids need that time to run and do non text book things! I hate that budget cuts are making us lose valuable programs such as music, art, PE, etc. It makes me very sad.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Our school had to cut P.E. this year. It does not mean that there is no P.E. The P.E. teachers are let go, and the teachers of the grades pick up that responsibility. So...if your child's teacher has an athletic background, chances are it will be an OK year. If your teacher or staff is not particularly fond of sports, they will probably offer just a so-so option.

And it is such a shame that we cannot afford fantastic gym options in public schools, especially considering the shocking rise of obesity in our country. There is absolutely no sense in this decision. But there are definite budget constraints.

IMHO....we need to get rid of the teacher unions...but that is another rant.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

It seems so weird to me that the classes the kids really need like PE, Driver's Ed, Home Ec, woodworking ect are being taken out or the schools because they are too expensive. I understand that they need computer classes and in some cases more math and science in order to get into college. But if they want these kids to live a few years past college they need to learn to enjoy at least one sport and to exercise and keep in shape. The need hobbies hence the woodworking or home ec and home ec can help them to learn to cook healthy meals and sew on a button, if not make entire outfits.
When I was young school beside giving us an education was supposed to prepare you for life. And now it's all about getting into a good college and having a career.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

That really sucks. Our national priorities are screwed up. Our Deputy Superintendant makes over $400,000 per year. Our kids are getting shortchanged. 8 hours a day with no music, no art, no pe, just core curriculum makes for a dull grind of a day. That's certainly not going to improve the drop out rate/

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Hi J.,

Chicago Public Schools has not had gym as a requirement since my daughter was in Kindergarten (before that I don't know). If a public school has gym they have "found" the minutes for the period and the money for the teacher from SOMEWHERE because it's not allocated. They also don't have recess. They do allow kids onto the playground either 15 or 30 min in the morning before school sand the teachers take turns supervising (along with parent volunteers).

Rahm Emmanuel just passed a mandate that they are extending the school day by 90 minutes in all Chicago Public Schools beginning with 2012. Part of these minutes (I think 10) will be allocated to PE.

Right now - all things being equal my daughter's school day is only 5 hours and 15 minutes long (the shortest public school day in the nation). Honestly.... I can get my daughter to run (or put her in after school activities that are physical in nature) I'd rather they spend time on math, science and reading.

But yes, every school should have PE. And music (which is also gone from CPS) and Art (also not mandatory) and a foreign language (I'd prefer they have BOTH spanish and mandarin).

But, as it stands my 6th graders school day is this:

10min homeroom, announcements, attendance, lunch $ collection
5 min class change
40 min - reading and literacy
5 min class change
40 min - writing
5 min class change
40 min - elective (students pick from technology or art)
5 min class change
20 lunch
5 min class change
40 math
5 min class change
40 science
5 min class change
40 technology
10 wrap up and dismissal

I'm not sure what I'd have them take out... technology maybe, except that's how they do their research and write their papers. They need those skills to be competitive in high school and college.
Plus, in order to hire a PE teacher and supplies you have to pull the funding from somewhere in your school - usually at CPS that means fundraisers and it's paid for by the PTA or the Asst Principal doubles as a teacher.

My daughters school has done a good job with providing physical activities after school, but some schools don't have ANY after school activities.
I'm not sure what the fix is..... but removing PE, music, art and foreign language should NEVER have been the answer.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

If you want to keep PE, you have to voice your opinion to those in charge - ie: the school board. Keep in mind that the next thing to go will be art and music... you'd best be vocal or you'll lose it all.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tyler on

The high priority placed on testing has created this situation. You need to let your principal know that you believe in PE and if possible, get a group of parents to support your view. I didn't check your profile to see what grade your student is in, but one of our elementary schools tried doing this when my youngest was in 2nd grade and the group of parents approach worked for us. The older your student gets, the more it is imperative to make sure they get physical activities after school, like the poster from Chicago pointed out, there simply isn't enough time in the day to fit it all in once they hit middle and high school.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

My son actually has more time in gym than I did as a kid. It is a good thing--young kids have a hard time sitting all day without some chance to run around to break it up. I would not want to be his teacher if he didn't have gym (his class is Kindergarten and it is two thirds boys)!



answers from Chicago on

This is already happening. My son is in a private school and they have PE once a week. The teacher is a volunteer, so when they don't come to work, there is no gym.

I really wish they had music as I did when I was growing up, but they pass out flyers from outside sources. They don't want to pay for the teachers.



answers from Honolulu on

Ummm, my school has 15 minutes of gym a week... And only 30 minutes of recess a week... If they eat fast enough...


answers from Houston on

I think they should make gym longer actually. There arent that many more important things than ones own health.


answers from Chicago on

Our local public school district has pretty much phased it out as well. It's just a budget issue. Not enough money so PE and art and music get cut first. I think the kids in my neighborhood only have PE one day a week. Pretty sad.



answers from Dallas on

Who is talking about taking PE classes out of school? Currently there is a state law that students need 90 minutes (I think) of structured exericise (ie PE) a week. At the secondary level, there are classes other than PE that can substitute for the requirement (like ROTC).

If people are talking about getting rid of it, its because we are such a test crazy/assessment crazy state and the short sighted answer is to spend more time studying and so less time exercising.

Or is it because of budget cuts? They cant fund the PE teacher? If that is what your school is doing, the regular classroom teachers will be responsible to meet the state required PE time.

Stupid because exercising is so important to health and also peoples ability to concentrate and focus.


answers from Dallas on

I've not heard that. I think it's crazy.

The elementary where I sub has a great PE program. They involve Heath in many aspects of the school.

I know when my daughter was in middle school PE was required.

Since she's been in high school ( 11th grade now). I honestly don't know the policy. She is exempt because she's a cheerleader and has 2+ hours a day with practice, games, etc. She is required to go to school at 0 hour which is 8 instead of 9 to incorporate the cheer. All athletes do this.

That's really sad if they cancel PE. There are many days with weather, etc when children can't go outside. They NEED PE to at least be able to run some energy out!!

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