Gym Class: It’s Actually Required


Sarah Hunter '21, Reporter

      In the past, students have been told that they can use personal curriculum in place of a personal fitness credit, but recent specifications have changed that. The Michigan Merit curriculum has always required a personal fitness credit for high school students in order for students to graduate. 

     “Why did they change it after they were preaching you could take a third or fourth year of foreign language to get it? I wouldn’t have taken a third year otherwise,” junior Madison Bee said.

     So nothing has actually changed. Rules and standards are only being enforced. The state of Michigan sets the requirements for high school students to graduate. Physical education and health education are two required courses for high school students. The personal curriculum was intended for students with special exceptions such as a physical incapability to participate in a physical education course. At John Glenn, however, many students were under the impression that they could use this personal curriculum to replace their personal fitness credit, but now the rules set in place by the state of Michigan are being enforced.

   Some juniors and seniors are having trouble adjusting to these rules being enforced. Freshmen, on the other hand, seem to be more or less unfazed by the adjustment. Students overall seem to have varying opinions about whether or not personal fitness should even be required. 

     “I’m not mad, I’m irritated,” said junior Lily Palmer. “I feel like I’m wasting a credit.” Lily is a student in personal fitness this semester. She goes on to say how she feels it is unnecessary in her particular instance because she plays sports and she says that she is active almost every day.  

     “I think it’s fine; kind of boring though,” freshman Alana Gildersleeve said. She is also a student in personal fitness this semester and she seemed to think that it was just normal. She said that she was never under the impression that she did not have to take a personal fitness class.

     Other students are just generally uncomfortable with the class. “Publicly changing is uncomfortable, not having stall doors is uncomfortable. If you don’t feel comfortable swimming you shouldn’t have to,” senior Drake Brewster said. 

     “It’s kind of fun,” freshman Samantha Kluesner said. Some students did not even notice the new enforcement of the existing rules, many of them underclassmen.

     When the schedules for the second semester were finalized, the counseling office was flooded with students requesting to see their counselors. Many had standard issues with their schedules, but a lot of students just wanted to find a way to avoid gym class. 

    In the past, students could go down to the counseling office and switch their schedules around quite a bit. It was easy to fill the PE credit with an English credit or an additional science credit. In fact, many students did just that. They took an additional English, science, or foreign language credit to get out of gym class.

    That is not allowed anymore. Physical education class is genuinely required and it is going to be a lot harder to fill that credit with other courses. 

     “People were trying to avoid the class and it wasn’t really about needing personal curriculum. Personal curriculum is not for avoidance,” counselor Mrs.Martin said.

     What this means for personal curriculum is that it is only going to be applied for students with a genuine need for it. 

     So, in short, Gym class is here to stay, at least for now.