The Instigator
Pro (for)
6 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

THW Make Gym Class Mandatory Throughout High School.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/20/2011 Category: Education
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,029 times Debate No: 19382
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




Round 1 is for acceptance only, no arguments will be posted.
No new arguments may be presented in round 4, the last round for fairness purposes, as I will not be able to refute your arguments.
If you have any questions please ask them now.

For those who do not know, THW stands for This House Would, meaning that this resolution would be passed. As side Pro, I want to pass this resolution as a law, and as side Con, you don't want this resolution to be made into a law.

I apologize if I mess up during this debate, as I am new to this site and do not fully understand how this debating thing works yet. Also, please excuse my name. I don't know what I was thinking when I created this account.

Most debates that I have seen on this site are 4 rounds, so I have made mine 4 as well. All other settings I have set to the default.

Alright so lets set up the model.

This House is Canada.

By mandatory, I mean that the gym course must be taken each year in high school, and will count towards your credits, much like how English must be taken all 4 years.

Gym Class is equivalent to Physical Education, meaning that Sexual Education and Health Education would be included as well.

Burden of Proof:

It is my duty to explain to you why taking gym class during all 4 years of high school would be beneficial to the student.


I believe, it being the first round and the debate originator having stated that the first round is only for acceptance and not for argument, my purpose here is to outline my stand and role in this debate.

Currently the option of mandating gym classes is left up to the discretion of school districts, and i believe what my opponent is suggesting is that it be made a national law.

So, As the CON side, I will outline in this debate to the public why having gym classes in school, is in fact detrimental and undesirable to schools and school kids, and how if anything, this should NOT be made national law, and left up to the states/provinces.

Thank you for initiating this debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Alright thanks for accepting.
Yes, that's what I meant, I was unaware that it was at the discretion of school boards.
And sorry for the late reply, I was busy with other work.

Okay, so let's start with my first argument.

1. Obesity sucks.

Currently in Canada, in 2011, 26% of Canadians aged 2-17 years are obese. If these kids continue to live like they do now, in 20 years, the obesity rate of 35-44 year olds (when they grow up) will be forecasted at 70%. The main cause of this is because kids do not eat unhealthily and do not get enough excercise. If physical education was mandated throughout Canada, this rate will be much lower. These kids will get the health education and excercise they need in order to stay fit and healthy. As a society, we need to educate children on living healthy because it is important to their livelihood. When children do not understand the importance of living healthy at a young age, they are less likely to understand it as they become older, as it is much more difficult to learn new concepts at a higher age. So, we see that this is why it is important to instill this kind of living at a young age, so that they have this mentality when they are older, and perhaps pass it on to their kids. If they remain obese when they are older, it is obvious that they will pass these habits to their kids as well, as kids almost always follow what their parents do. What we have here is a vicious cycle. These obese kids will grow up to have more obese kids, which will grow up, etc. Anyone can see that a society that is obese is not a good thing. A lot of physical labour tasks such as mining, will not be possible because it will be difficult to find people who are fit enough to do the job, since the large majority of the labour force is obese. This in turn, is obviously bad for our economy, as without a labour force to mine diamond, for example, a large chunk of our GDP will be lost. So we see that not only the individual is affected by obesity, the entire society is affected. However, this can fundamentally be stopped just by educating these children on how to eat healthily so that this is not a problem.

It is also commonly known that obese children are more prone to diseases like diabetes, heart failure, etc. However, when we have this resolution mandated, we see that this will be a problem anymore, because these children are not obese. By raising a society that the majority have obesity related diseases, it is obvious that they will require health care. As this house is Canada, we have free health care (haha Americans!), and we see that the taxes will have to be raised in order to cover the large influx of people who require care due to obesity related diseases. This will obviously cause unrest within the people, as always when taxes go up. The other option is we keep the tax rate and re-budget by moving a lot of the money allocated in infrastructure, education, etc. into health care. But we see that this is also bad because these sectors will not get the funding they need to operate properly. Roads will be poorly maintained, class sizes will be 30+, etc. Another option is that we just ignore the problem, and the large chunk of our work force will be taking weeks and months off on medical leave in order to recover from diabetes, cancer, heart failure, etc. However, once again this can all be solved by implementing mandatory gym classes as they are able to live healthily. Therefore, as a result of obesity, there are many problems in society.

Alright so assuming none of you want to be obese, let's move on to the second argument I have today.

2. Use a condom

Teen pregnancy in 2006 is 27.9%, which is lower than the 44.2% in 1996, of teens aged 15 to 19 years old. This is because Canada has adopted physical education classes to be mandatory up until grade 9. This helps because then teens can learn about sex, like methods to prevent birth, or rather, abstinence. It is obvious that if we extend the mandate up until grade 12, the rate will drop even lower. This is important because not only do we lower abortion rates, we also lower kids who are put up for adoption because of teen parents. This is ethical because as a moral society, we want these kids to grow up, most preferably with their biological parents, and with a parental figure. Let's face the truth. Not all of these kids will be adopted. This is unethical. All children should grow up with a parental figure, because they need someone to teach them what's right or wrong. Without this parental figure, these kids will not have the support they need in order to grow up into functional members of society.

The most important aspect of a teen's life, believe it or not, is school. Some teens may choose to raise the child themselves, as they cannot bear the thought of adoption or abortion. This risks the teen's learning. It's not possible for a student to learn effectively and raise a child effectively at the same time. With a lower education, the teen will not have as high of a paying job as she possibly could have. This is bad for society, because as a society, we want people with high education, to be entrepreneurs in order to drive the economy. Furthermore, the teen will be in a financial crisis. There is now one more person to raise, and that costs money. Diapers, baby formula, powder, toys, these things must all be bought in order to raise a child. The teen surely will not have enough money, and it is not guaranteed that her parents have the money to raise the baby. This baby will not grow up in a desirable environment, and this is unethical, as we can easily solve this problem by educating teens on sex through physical education. Moreover, the teen father in the relationship most likely ditched. The teen mom will not have the emotional support she needs in order to raise the baby, and the baby will grow up without a father. How is this ethical at all? Easy answer. It is not.

Alright so I presented my two arguments, entitled obesity sucks and use a condom. From these, we can discern that a lot of societal and individual problems can ultimately be solved through physical education, as well as actually benefiting the society. (e.g. more jobs will be created because more physical education teachers will be needed). Therefore, there are actually no reasons by we should not implement this resolution.

I await con side to present her arguments (sorry if you're a male, I assume you're a female because you're name is debate_queen). I challenge her to come up with any disadvantages to this resolution.

All benefits, no loss. That's why you should vote PRO.
Also because I have a cool name.
That is all.


Obesity Stats:
Teen Pregnancy stats:


debate_queen forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Okay Debate_Queen has forfeited this round, so I urge you all to vote PRO!


In this round I will both outline my points and refute my opponents. I was not able to state my points in the last round because, unfortunately, my computer broke down. I am not using this as an excuse, because frankly, as truthful as it is, it's a bad reason. I'm just justifying why I am merging Round 2 and round 3 into one "essay". That said, I'd like to start out with a quote from the Berkeley Daily Planet.

The purpose of high school, is to prepare students for a meaningful life in the 21st century; to be a good citizen, economically self-sufficient...", said Terry Doran, School Board president in an article on the Berkeley Daily Planet. I agree that this is the purpose of high school, but disagree that mandating physical education for four years in order to graduate is the right approach to this. Not only does mandating physical education NOT provide to the goal of high schools, it also is severely detrimental to Schools and students in general.

Argument 1: It is detrimental to schools and students.
School funding in Canada is decided by the province as of today, and this funding is solely dependent on the taxes collected by the providential government. Taxes in Canada are collected as a percentage of income, and so the funding for schools isn't fixed as for the entire country. What this means is that schools in areas with a higher economic status recieve higher funding. Schools like these may not be seriously affected by the new bill, but other schools. with less funding will be. Incorporating a physical education class into the curriculum comes with a serious cost, both monetary and support-related.
Mandating a physical education class means that every high school is now mandated to construct a gym-if they don't already have one, to purchase equipment for the class (whether this means basketballs and gymnastic mats, or CPR dummies for the health portion of it), to hire enough teachers to teach all of this, and to hold school board meeting to decide on the curriculum for this class. All of this requires a significant amount of money, which some schools don't have. Mandating schools that are tight on funding to obey this law means that money will now be taken away from Math classes, Science classes, or after school activities. With the money that would be saved by NOT mandating FOUR years of physical education, schools could provide more AP classes, or more after school activities which would offer more to students that four years of learning how to shower properly.
To a student that is interested in entering a career in health or gym, benefits from this, but a student interested in the medical field, for example, does not benefit from the funding being directed away from the classes he/she requires. In this way, neither the school nor the students benefit from this law.

Argument Two: It will cause rifts between students.
Canada is a place of wide ethnic diversity, and with wide ethnic diversity comes diverse opinions. Many parents don't want their students in Sexual Education because of their moral beliefs or simply, their culture. If these credits are required for graduation, suddenly this becomes an issue. Will these missed credits be excused? Whether they do or not, an issue of whether or not the required credits are actually required comes into question. Issues of what should and should not be required in the curriculum will assail the school board. A high school is no place for this type of controversy.
To take this a step further, students with disorders(like ASD-holes in the walls of your heart, over-fatigue disorder-makes you extremely fatigued with just an insignificant amount of exercise, blindness, etc) are inhibited from participating in some or all of the activities in gym classes, or maybe even not be able to participate properly. This will lead to rifts between students, and depression in students (according to the Medline Plus's page on depression causes). It also causes bullying and hazing in high schools. According to, 47% of reported bullying incidents were sports/phy-ed related.

Argument Three: Four years of Physical education classes in High schools is unnecessary.
Until today, Physical education is required in Canadian school until 9th grade. The need for mandating 4 MORE years of physical education is unnecessary. 56.3% of students already participate in sports out of school, on average, and a majority of kids already know how to properly take care of them by 9th grade.
Not only is four years of physical education, highly unnecessary, it also harms schools by exposing schools to lawsuits.

For these Reasons, four years of physical education is highly unnecessary and just a waste of a school's resources and time. Not to mention, an idea that will expose schools to unneeded controversies. For these reasons I urge a CON ballot. Now, to address my opponent's points.

My opponenet brought up obesity rates as his first contention. These statistics are true, but physical education is not the way to go. As Mary Strain stated perfectly in the Scholastic Magazine article about the Disadvantages of Physical education, "Many kids take part in P.E. only because it's a requirement and there is no choice. Being forced to participate -- especially in sports children don't prefer or may not feel able to perform -- makes the experience a drudgery and may actually make them less likely to exercise outside the school setting. Some educators advise that schools allow students some choice in P.E. activities to avoid making exercise seem like a hated necessity, rather than healthy and fun. Absent this choice, P.E. may actually have the opposite effect than the one the school intended.".

As she stated, physical education classes aren't the way to solve obesity issues. With more and more students taking classes online, relevant to this debate, physical education, the benefits of physical education such as lowering obesity aren't always existent. Also, There are no issues today with the workforce being too obese to do certain jobs, and none of them were ever forced to take 4 years of physical education, and so there is no evidence that the problems will suddenly emerge now. And as per your third sub-point regarding diabetes and other obesity related diseases, like i stated previously, physical education classes will not help. And as per tax increasing, mandating physical education in ALL schools, like i stated in my first point, will only serve to increase taxes even further.

Then, for your second contention, teaching sex Education doesn't have a fixed success rate. For example, Slovakia has the 4th highest teen pregnancy rate at 26.9% according to They however, are mandated to teach sex Ed in high school. Taking another approach, India has one of the lower teen pregnancy rates in the world at a mere 7.1%. Here however, Sex Education is not mandatory. South Korea has the lowest teen pregnancy rate in the world at 2.9%, but they don't have a fixed policy on Sex Education. Thus, Sex Education merely provides some knowledge on the workings of sexual interactions, but doesn't prove to effectively counter high birth rates.

There is no reason to enforce a law unless it is proven that it benefits the public, and that these benefits outweigh the damages. I have shown through my rebuttle that these "benefits" that my opponent suggested would be effects of mandating physical education, aren't sure to happen. I have shown you the damages that mandating FOUR years of physical education in schools will yield. These tentative benefits that , yes, will work in only specific utopian societies and aren't proven to work everywhere, so not outweigh the damages that i mentioned. There is no reason to spend billions of dollars that we don't Have under the current economy, on a program that might not yield the benefits it claims to. VOTE CON.
Debate Round No. 3


As Terry Doran said, "The purpose of high school, is to prepare students for a meaningful life in the 21st century; to be a good citizen, economically self-sufficient...". Thank you for pointing that out.

But mandating this does provide students a meaningful life! How can you have a truly meaningful life when you're obese?How can you have a meaningful life when you have a baby, and you're only in high school yourself?

You can't. That's why we need this resolution.

I will start off with refuting my opponents weak points.

Argument 1: It is detrimental to schools and students.

Actually, the funding of a school varies. It does not depend on areas with higher economic status. The funding of a school depends on the type of school. For example, if you have a school with 2000 people, it is obviously going to get more funding than a school with 500 people. Also, not all taxes are collected as a percentage of income, as you can get tax from people spending their money on products.

As you said in your 3rd argument, physical education is mandated until the 9th grade. This means that schools will already have a gym, because they need to provide this class for 9th graders at their school. Therefore, there will be no extra costs incurred.

On the off chance that a school does not have a gym, the government can fund or subsidize the project to build a gym, as it is a government regulated bill. This way, all schools can afford to build one.

Therefore, your argument of monetary damage to schools falls, as all schools will be able to afford these gyms, and still invest their funds into other courses. So it is not detrimental to schools and students. So I win on this point.

Argument 2: It will cause rifts between students

We respect diverse religion and beliefs. These students can always be exempt with a special note from their parents. We already have this kind of system in place in elementary schools. We can extend it to high school as well. At schools right now, headwear is not allowed. But we make an exception for religious headwear because we respect diverse relgions and beliefs. We can do the same with sexual education.

Why? Why is high school not a place for controversy? We see controversy in high schools all the time. Teens get drunk, smoke cigarettes, and do pot. This causes controversy. This doesn't affect the overall learning atmosphere of high schools, as all other students are still learning well. Most students do not even know this is going on at their high school.

Yes, according to But we're talking about Canada, so those statistics mean nothing. Also, we have grade 9 physical education right now, so wouldn't that also create rifts? Are you suggesting that we remove grade 9 physical education as well? We believe that the potential benefits of this resolution, like obesity and teen pregnancy, outweight any potential disagreements. As a democratic society in the 21st century, bullying is also getting less common. We teach our students about morals and respecting each other. In fact, the racial discrimination against african americans is getting lower each year as a result. We see that this can also happen with any potential bullying this may cause. Over time, we would have no more bullying.

Therefore, this argument is not valid. Over time there will be no bullying, and exceptions can always be made. Therefore, I win on this point as well.

Argument 3: Four years of Physical education classes in High schools is unnecessary.

Okay yes, 56.3% already take care of themselves, but what about the other 43.7%? And what about the minority that does not know how to take care of themselves? As a democratic society, we need to try to cater to as many people as we can. Having this resolution will benefit those exceptions, and it won't affect the majority. So why not have this resolution in place?

And just so you know, we have a lot of mandates that you say are unnessecary by your logic. English classes are mandatory all 4 years of high school. The majority of teens know how to write essays and speak english, so why do we have this? Because of the minority who do not. Math is also mandatory, but many people take math classes outside of school and already know advanced math. So why do we have this? Because of the minority who do not.

Therefore, as a democratic society, we need certain mandates in order to benefit the minority, in order to benefit those exceptions. We need to cater to as many people as we can. Therefore, I win on this point as well.

As my opponent has not explained why this resolution exposes schools to law suits, I will disregard this subpoint completely.

Although my opponent's refutations did little damage to my arguments, I will attempt to repair them as best as I can.

Refutation 1: Obesity

As you pointed out, Mary Strain said, "SAlso, since my opponent has not addressed my argument that if parents are obese, children will also be likely to be obese, so I assume she agrees with my point.

Refutation 2: Teen Pregnancy
The source you provided is an old source. If you look at the bottom, it says 1995-1998. Please look at this article.

This article was published this month. Therefore, sexual education does have a positive effect on teen pregnancy and sex.


My opponent says, "There is no reason to enforce a law unless it is proven that it benefits the public, and that these benefits outweigh the damages."

As I have shown you, it benefits the public greatly - lowers teen pregnancy and obesity rates in children. By not having this resolution we have damages as I have shown you above. Therefore, by my opponent's logic, we should have this resolution passed.

As for spending billions of dollars? We don't need to do that. Many schools already have gyms as physical education is mandated for the 9th grade.

Therefore, none of my opponent's arguments are still valid.
Therefore, I have won this debate.
Therefore, vote PRO.


debate_queen forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
I would take this debate if you change the voting period from three days to one or two months.

Good topic.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by PeacefulChaos 6 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: While I agree with Con, she forfeited twice; thus, she essentially lost the debate. For this reason, conduct goes to Pro. Arguments goes to Pro because he showed that obesity and teenage pregnancy would lower and refuted Con's arguments with ease. Sources also goes to Pro because Con's were outdated and she only provided one. One more reason why I voted for Pro. Because he has an awesome name :)