I remember that when I was in middle school there were plenty of odd reforms in the school. But the one that I remember the most was when our principal decided to take away our Physical Education class.
It seems that our coaches thought our group was too large to manage. They claimed that since there were so many of us, they couldn’t watch all of us and it wouldn’t be safe. At 107 students, we were the largest in the school. But keep in mind that the grade below us was about 95 students, and also the fact that we had three assistant P.E. coaches. But our principal had another reason. She thought us to be “too rowdy ” and “disrespectful”.
But that was only a small minority. Our teachers thought we were decently behaved for the most part, but our P.E. coaches and principal insisted that we weren’t. And so P.E. was canceled (technically). We were told that we “should not receive the privilege of a P.E. class if we could not behave ourselves”. Our grade would be divided in half and go on different days. This means instead of five days of P.E., we would get two. For the rest of the time we would have study hall in complete silence.
I admit, some of the students were very badly behaved, but it wasn’t all of us. Either way, taking away our P.E. class didn’t seem like a good solution. Even our teachers thought it was a bad idea. But what were we to do about it? Our teachers tried to vouch for us, but the situation remained the same.
Finally, a group of my friends and I decided to do something. We found out that the North Carolina Board of Education requires at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day. We were getting an hour a week. The Board of Education also states that “Structured/unstructured recess and other physical activity (such as, but not limited to, physical activity time, physical education or intramurals) shall not be taken away from students as a form of punishment” which was exactly what was happening here. We finally printed this page off the North Carolina Board of Education’s website and showed it to our principal. We explained it and she said that she would get back to us.
Then two weeks passed. Nothing happened, 8th grade still only had two days of P.E. a week. We went back to see the principal, but still nothing happened. Three weeks later, we decided to write a letter to the Board of Education, but before the letter was sent, our teachers found a way to give us out physical activity. Instead of study hall, our teachers took us outside so that we could run around, play basketball, and pretty much do we used to do in P.E. Even though we still couldn’t go to P.E. class, most of us were content with outside time. Because after all, all we really wanted was for a time where we could be active and move around.
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