Gym should not be required for high school students.
Debate Rounds (3)
First of all, I would like to address Pro's statement on "medical reasons." According to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), if a person is credited by a practicing doctor of the correct field, a student cannot be punished for a physical disability . If there is a said "medical reason", my opponent should receive a notice from their doctor to excuse themselves from participating in certain physical education standards.
Physical education is not only about keeping kids active.The purpose of a physical education (PE) class is to enrich communication, teamwork, people skills, leadership, and then physical activity. Commonly, a PE class is a full year course that is split into half PE and half health. Both of these classes are essential to a student's education. In the health section, you learn useful skills such as first-aid, basic CPR, coping techniques, and even sexual education. Twenty-two states, and the District of Columbia, require public school systems to provide a sexual education course. Twenty of these require HIV and STD education. This education is required to be based off scientific evidence and non-discriminatory standards .
Not only is sexual education timely with high school, but it's also a stage in maturity. This course provides the information in an academic and professional fashion, thus introducing freshman to this ideology of sex being a mature and serious situation. The class covers the most common forms of contraception, STD's, and even incidents of drug induced date rape. The general course covers topics such as: anatomy, puberty, identity, STD's, pregnancy, personal safety, and even healthy relationships .
"Teamwork" building does happen in gym, but there are clubs that teach students well, such as sports, an art form, or taking up a hobby.
Yes, sexually education is required for all students to receive education about the dangers of sex, but
it should not be only in gym classes. Most classes have time to receive the "sex talk", so it should not be an issue for classes to receive this course. That course doesn't require that many class periods. It does create a stereotype for gym classes as well.
These clubs that Pro mentions are fully optional. A student is not required to participate in these extracurricular clubs. There is also the issue that there is not a club provided that peaks the student's interest. Many hobbies are single-person activities, and hardly require any form of teamwork. The arts are guided by a director, often with little student to student interaction regarding the work. Sports are selective. A coach has to pick and choose which students can participate in the sport, thus allowing less active kids to be excluded.
Sexuality education ties into the topic of health class. Core content classes are rushed as is to meet national educational standards, taking even more time to teach sex-ed would be counterproductive to the overall academia of the school. These stereotypes that Pro mentions are virtually dead. While there are the few outliers, such as the overly competitive students or the non-participating outcasts, the overall majority melds into a singular group that participates in the provided activity.
PE offers a refreshing break from the usual desk atmosphere of most classrooms. Often times, PE classes include field trips to places such as the park or local athletic recreational activities. This allows the student to interact with a hands-on experiences. The class provides what I like to call a "sleep period." It takes the students away from the stressful and pressure of the common academic testing, and allows tangental learning of teamwork through physical activity and sports.
Yes, the clubs I have mentioned are optional, but Con forgot the importance of being in that club. A student could find interest in a club or sport and join. They get interested even more and stick to it for the rest of their school carrier. IF they decide the drop it, they still learn what it takes to support their part and work with other people.
Memory association that Pro mentions is easy to overcome with therapy. This association is not to be mistaken for having any actual anxiety or emotional disorders. While the association is a common trait in many of these disorders, it is not sound for any assumptions. According to the National Institute of Mental Health,
"GAD is diagnosed when a person worries excessively about a variety of everyday problems for at least 6 months.13 People with GAD can"t seem to get rid of their concerns, even though they usually realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants. They can"t relax, startle easily, and have difficulty concentrating. Often they have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Physical symptoms that often accompany the anxiety include fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, nausea, lightheadedness, having to go to the bathroom frequently, feeling out of breath, and hot flashes." .
"Physical symptoms that often accompany social phobia include blushing, profuse sweating, trembling, nausea, and difficulty talking. When these symptoms occur, people with social phobia feel as though all eyes are focused on them." .
Memory association causing anxiety is not an excusable condition, nor an official diagnosis. This form of anxiety can be overcome with ease. If we were to excuse a class because of a bad memory association, then the idea of society might as well be obliterated since this phenomenon is a normal occurrence. Overcoming this fear is crucial to functioning in society.
Pro mentions that students could find interesting in clubs that they participate in, but again clubs are completely optional and therefor limited. A school is not required to provide any form of club or organizations outside of national educational and physical standards. While stated in the Federal Equal Access Act that a club cannot deny non-curricular student clubs based upon political, religious, philosophical, or any other form of the speech taken at meetings. However, this act is only effective if the school allows non-curricular clubs . There is no law stating that schools must allow any non-curricular clubs. In the religious aspect, , it only applies if the school allows another non-curricular organization to use these resources. In simple terms; if one group is allowed to do something, all groups are. If one group is denied to do something, all groups are. However, these only apply if said groups exist!
In my closing, I would like to point out that Pro has only made observational claims without any intellectual support to her arguments. Her claims are that gym should not be required because of physical and mental health reasons, both of which can be excused if the student has an official diagnosis without any negative consequences to their academic performance. I argue that the standard gym class promotes not only physical activity, but also teamwork, communication, and allows for a break from the day-to-day classroom setting. These benefits outweigh the cons that Pro offered against a required gym class. I thank Pro for an enriching debate.
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