PE not necessary for student athletes




Students enrolled in Roseville Joint Union High School district are required to take two semesters of PE in order to graduate – regardless of participation in school sports. And while the state does maintain a requirement regarding how much PE a high school student must take in order to graduate, there are ways to grant credit for participating in after school sports.

This means that RJUHSD is making a choice to require freshman and sophomore athletes to also take PE. It is a choice they should not make.

Athletes spend hours a week practicing their sport, so what is the need to partake in an extra athletic activity? Well, when it comes down to it, there is none.

It is a waste of time for an athlete to take physical education while participating in athletics outside of school because those sports serve as physical education. They are already exercising and building their ability to work as a team – and they are doing it voluntarily, on their own time. They do not need to take a class to develop the skills they already have.

Granted, there should be a minimum number of hours an athlete has to participate in before being excused from PE. If an athlete only participates in one practice a week that is an hour long, they should still be required to take the class because they are spending far less time in athletics outside of school than they would when taking P.E.

Now, some people try to speak in support of P.E. by arguing that students need exercise in order to maintain their physical health. But at Roseville students are only required to take P.E. for two semesters, so it does not actually fix the problem. What about all of the other semesters while the student is not enrolled in physical education? And how does putting the students who already get more than enough exercise in these classes assuage the issue?

Theoretically, P.E. could help athletes branch out into sports they do not currently play. However, the two weeks that students are allotted in a particular sport are not enough for them to decide whether they truly enjoy that sport or not. And by the time they try a sport in high school and decide to play it competitively for the first time, it is usually too late.

Though P.E. gives students knowledge about a variety of sports and through those sports they are able to learn valuable life lessons, athletes that would be excused from PE generally are already committed to the sport they most enjoy and in which they find the most success. P.E. would just be another unnecessary medium taking up a slot in their schedule.