Editorial: No gym for student athletes

Charlotte McLaughlin, Reporter

Our position: Students who play sports should automatically receive a gym waiver in order to take another class or study hall in its place.

Waivers to get out of gym should be automatically offered to any student involved in a school or club sport. This would allow them to take another class in the place of their gym class during the semester(s) of their sport. If any student is actively participating in a sport, then they are already staying active and should not be forced to take an entire class dedicated to doing what they already do.

Currently, there are about three distinct options for seniors to request an exemption from gym, and there is only one option for juniors, according to the LTHS website. The options include: a senior can request an exemption from gym in their second semester to take a class required for admission to a certain college, a senior can request an exemption to take a class required for graduation, and a junior or senior who participates in an interscholastic athletic program can request a waiver from gym for either an athletic study hall or a semester/year-long course.

These processes in getting out of gym class include several detailed and specific restrictions before one can even become considered for a gym waiver. After that is completed, they then have to follow another series of complicated instructions specific to their situation to truly gain their gym exemption, according to the website. The overall process is unnecessarily long and confusing so it needs to be condensed and made more efficient and easy for the student. Also, these beneficial opportunities should be automatically offered to not only the seniors and juniors, but to the sophomores and freshmen because they still pull a lot of weight in their sports as well.

One of the many benefits students can reap with waiver is the ability to take a regular study hall for the whole semester. This will also greatly help the students catch up on schoolwork that they were unable to finish after school due to their commitment to a sport. They also will not have to worry about having to catch up after their season is over. It is unfair to the students who miss months of gym class and have to catch up again once they come back.

If the student doesn’t desire to take a study hall, then they can just take any different class of their choice in the place of their gym course. That way, the student athlete can make a more valuable use of their time rather than having to take a class primarily to work out when they already do that through their school or club sport.

Overall, students in a school or club sport should be automatically offered a waiver to get credit for their physical education class so they don’t have to waste their time taking one when they don’t need it. The process is far too complicated and exclusive, and it needs to become more efficient in the future.