Editorial: P.E. As a Required Course


By Editorial Staff

At Tamalpais High School, students are required to get two years worth of credits for physical education (P.E.), usually done in ninth and 10th grade. However, many private schools do away with P.E. in favor of requiring students to play school sports. Considering the commonly voiced displeasure and frustration with P.E., we looked into reasons why Tam should discontinue the class, at least for Tam student athletes.

Tam’s athletic director, who used to be a P.E. teacher at Redwood High School, Nathan Johnson believes that P.E. should stay a required class. “I think a lot of people categorize P.E. as just exercise, but I think the direction it’s going now is more curriculum based … P.E. is more than just exercise,” Johnson said. 

While P.E. does play some important roles in the education of high school students, it could potentially be replaced with an online course, or health components could be taught in a science and/or freshman’s Social Issues class, where other health components are already being taught.  

At Tam, many students feel that P.E. is an unimportant class. “I’ve never learned anything in my P.E. class that I don’t already know, ” sophomore Zandra Hyter said. 

At a time when everyone is only just getting comfortable with post-lockdown life, now would be an ideal time to improve or even replace P.E. before old, unwanted aspects of student life become entrenched once more. Tam administration showed a willingness to take student input last year by way of a survey asking when students would like tutorial to be, and further correspondence between admin and the student body over P.E. could continue building a healthy relationship between the two.

Underclassmen could benefit from no P.E. by getting another elective. If a student takes P.E. in ninth and 10th grade, they are limited to two electives unless they do P.E. in zero period, which requires them to arrive at school around seven in the morning three days a week. This puts students in a situation where they either have to sacrifice an elective or lose out on valuable sleep, although sometimes they cannot even get into the zero period class.

Tam student athletes are already getting vigorous exercise everyday of the week, on top of what they are required to do in P.E. class. “I had to run the timed mile in fourth period class and then 30 minutes later I had a conditioning practice where I had to run the mile again, plus more conditioning,” freshman Sarah Cormier said. “It was just a lot for one day.”

Student athletes at Tam work hard to stay on top of their school work and excel at their sport, so they could benefit from assistance from Tam’s administration. The administration has already shown they are willing to take student input and feedback with their survey on the school’s bell schedule. Why not continue this practice and work together to make the Tam experience better?