Should Senior Athletes Be Exempt From Gym Class? 

Yes: Seniors should be allowed an exemption from physical education class. Playing a high school sport takes lots of time, and student athletes are under a large amount of pressure to perform their best both in school, and in their sport. Most high school sports have practices every day for two plus hours, and games or matches that can last until late at night, especially if there is an away game. This leads to stress of not completing homework, the anxiety of not being able to fully study before a test, and poor grades on assignments because of lack of time available to complete them. Students are exhausted from all of the exercises they are putting their bodies through, and not being able to fulfill the rest that their body needs because they are up so late doing schoolwork. Students who participate in sports could use one free period productively to do homework, study, or plan out their schedule. Having this time to organize themselves could improve their mental health and reduce stress. Giving students who are already partaking in a large amount of physical activity one period to start doing work could remove some unnecessary pressure they experience. 

The main purpose of students attending a physical education class regularly is to make sure that all students are taking care of their bodies. Everyone, including students, must participate in some form of movement to ensure a balanced lifestyle. However, if students are already engaging in physical activity at a high level after school through their sport, this extra hour of movement one to two times a week is not crucial, and could be time better spent doing things that are conducive to their learning.

  No: Seniors should not be exempt from gym because physical education class requires students to try new sports and move their bodies in ways that they would not normally think to do. This is something that benefits senior athletes as much as it does all other students. Gym class also expands students’ horizons by exposing them to new sports they may like, and senior athletes should get that same exposure. Gym class also gives students–including senior athletes–the opportunity to develop new skill sets that they may not already have. 

So, what do you think? Should senior athletes be exempt from gym class, or should they be required to participate?