By Jenna Schwarzenberg
Whether or not extra-curricular activities should count as gym credit in school is not a new debate. Each year tons of high school students compete in varsity sports, join different clubs, and challenge themselves in school. It is not necessary to add to this load of work with requiring a gym credit to graduate, especially when some spend more time in an extra-curricular activity than sitting in class. The only extra-curricular activities that should be allowed to replace a gym class are sports.
Gym classes are a great way to de-stress and devote some time to your body and mind. They are a beneficial addition to a stressed-out student’s schedule. However, when a student spends 45 minutes in a gym class, then two hours at an extracurricular, it can get excessive. Specifically, people who already spend hours playing a sport, they should not have to take the class to graduate. They are already getting their workout in after school each day, and are likely learning more about their body in the sport than they would in gym class. Gym classes are also a great way for athletes to stretch after a challenging game or competition, but there is always a risk of getting injured and messing up their performance in their sports. Injuries are especially risky for students that plan to take their sport to the next level at college. This is why student athletes should have an option to take gym classes, but not the requirement.
Having the option to replace a gym class might also inspire people to join sports teams. Some people may dislike the gym classes that are offered, which would result in them joining a new team, thus being more involved in the school community. This will spread knowledge of health and physical activity to more people than required gym classes will, because typically students will feel more involved in a team sport. Also, by joining the sports they will learn about time management and spend much more time doing physical activity than they would in school.
Students who do not compete in any extra-curricular sports should be required to take the gym classes, so that they can get the benefits of the class too. These students will not be affected negatively by the rules, because if they wanted more options for scheduling they could just join a sport. Also, they will get the minimum knowledge of health, but will have more time after school to do other activities.
Students should not be graded for sports. If it replaces the class, they should not have to be a star player to get an A. The sport would simply replace their required gym class.
There are many aspects that go into this argument, and each school system/ high school has a different vision for how they want to view sports and gym credit requirements. There will always be flaws in the system, and in the scheme of things, one class does not change a lot for the majority of students.