P.E exemptions benefit students


Cartoon by Hannah Kopek

Editorial, Staff

Illinois state law mandates a four-year P.E. requirement for students to graduate, unless they’ve been given special permission for a P.E. exemption. The only way for a student to receive an exemption is if a student is in band, WILCO, or participates in two or more extra-curricular sports.
As for the athletic exemption, many students have gotten their wires crossed believing that the exemption is only for triathletes, while some remain unaware that the exemption exists at all.
We believe it is the duty of the administration to expose students to all their options. For students to fully harness their education, they should be able to make choices that benefit them regarding the classes they take, instead of following a one-size-fits-all credit requirement. Students should also have the chance to take elective courses that they enjoy instead of a P.E. class, if they are physically active outside of school.
According to Illinois Report Card data, an hour of physical activity each day can improve academics, as well as lessen the chances of obesity, type two diabetes, and heart disease. Most students in after school athletics exceed an hour of practice every day, therefore providing even more benefits than a P.E. class.
In addition, since the class periods do not exceed an hour, students in a P.E. class do not participate in a full hour of physical activity. Therefore, it is academically better for a student athlete to use a P.E. exemption to reap the benefits of multiple academic classes, since they already have the physical benefits of participating in an extracurricular sport. We understand why some members of the administration frown upon the P.E. exemption because if P.E. class enrollment goes down drastically, it could cost a teacher their job; however this predicament should not discourage athletes from seeking a P.E. exemption if they feel an academic course will help them for their future. Many states do not even require four years of P.E. to graduate, so it is only right for Illinois to allow exemptions.
Overall, instead of administrators offering their personal opinions regarding P.E. exemptions when a student is seeking one, they should be pleased that a student wants to further their education. In any case, all academic classes are beneficial to students’ well-being, because the brain is a muscle too.