Should student athletes be required to take a PE class?

There is a debate going around in schools, discussing whether or not students participating in sports should be required to take a physical education class. The common answer from students is no, but by law, in Iowa, it is required. In 2008, the Iowa Department of Education passed a law requiring students in a public school to enroll in a PE class for one semester a year. This was part of the Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015. The intent was to give students a healthier lifestyle and a more "rounded schedule." The idea was effective at first in showing a lowering number in obesity rates. However, over the past few years more and more students have been joining sports. This brings up the question, should student-athletes be required to take a PE class?


The biggest complaint from students is that they miss the opportunity to have a study hall or a class they want to take in place of PE. Many students class schedules are too full to have a study hall at all, which will mean that they have to spend more time outside of school studying. As a student-athlete myself, I had to stay up extra late to study for a test and do homework because I got home late. Many other students agree that they would have much rather done this in a study hall in school and have a chance to get sleep. Studies show that, especially for teenagers, getting good sleep at night is crucial to performance in school and sports. it gives them an opportunity to make up tests and catch up on all the work they miss for their sport. During their season, student-athletes tend to miss classes, especially those at the end of the day, for games or meets. With a study hall, it would be easier to catch up and stay on top of everything. And of course, there is always the risk of injury. While it is unlikely, there is always a possibility that someone gets hurt lifting or playing a game. This could end a student-athletes season.


Participating in school sports covers all of the important bases that physical education does. Exempting student-athletes from PE classes does not mean that those classes are not important, it just shows that there is no need for student-athletes to spend time doing things they already do and learning stuff they already know. I agree that students should be required to do some sort of physical activity, but it should be limited to those not participating in sports. Some students like the idea of being required to participate in a sport rather than a PE class. In the end, as long as students are getting some sort of "physical activity" during the school day, I think that both the government and students will be satisfied.


Do you think that student-athletes should have to take a PE class?

Do you think that it would be better to require students to participate in a sport rather than a PE class?

If you had the option as an athlete, would you still take a PE class?

Have you had to stay up extra late to do homework or study after a sporting event?

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  • While we have had similar topics(so no extra credit), you did an outstanding job Micah!

  • I don't believe that if the student is a atletic sport for both of the semesters they shouldn't have to be in P.E because they are most likely busy after school and sometimes in the morning before school to practice for their sport that they are enrolled in. I think however if your not in a sport each semester of the year you should have to take P.E atleast one time each year.

  • I think that student athletes shouldn't be required to take a PE class because they're already getting physical activity from their sport. However, it should still be offered, and I believe that many of them would still take it. Yes, I have had to stay up late after a sporting event to do homework before.

  • I do see the importance of making children get some physical activity, especially in the growing age of technology. But, for those who are already in sports it does not make sense to force them to do it. I would not take PE if I had an option. I have stayed up late after practices or games to do homework.

    • I agree that it is hard to keep up with homework.

  • I think it doesn't really matter to me. But, i think student athletes enjoy PE class more then any other class they take. They should definitly still have the option even if they are required to take PE. They do stay active enough to not have to take the class.

    • I agree that they should still get the option to take a PE class.

  • I do not think that student athletes should have to take a PE class becuas ehtey are already getting physical activity durring that sport. I think however that stuents should have the option to take a PE class if they want to. It would create less stress for the average student.

  • I think that it should be optional to take a pe class. The reason being is when students have sports they have to leave during the school day and won't have time to study and do homework. Pe usually takes space in a student's schedule when they really should have a study hall. Especially when they play sports. 

    • I agree that it would be better to have a studyhall.

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