How PE affects students’ GPAs

Linnea Howard, staff writer

In Physical Education classes, students are graded on how fast they can run, how many push-ups they can do and their overall endurance. These grades affect their overall grade point average, which ultimately influences colleges to accept them, or not accept them. This may seem extreme, but a student’s physical fitness really does affect their success in life.

In middle school, I struggled with PE. In fact, in eighth grade my lowest grade was in gym class. I constantly worried that I wouldn’t run fast enough or do enough sit ups to get an “A” in the class. I understand that it is important to be healthy and fit through exercise and eating habits. I feel that I make good choices in my eating habits and I go on walks and workout regularly. Considering this, I believe that students should be taught about healthy habits, but not graded on their personal physical fitness abilities.

When students feel like their GPA is on the line, they may push themselves too far. Students run faster and harder than their bodies are able to handle and find themselves dehydrated, dizzy and uncomfortable. This is unacceptable. If students have to run, they should be graded on their effort, not their time. Everyone is different and some people physically excel, while others do not. Those who are not as physically strong should not have to face a lower GPA because they could not force themselves to push past their body’s limits.

Approximately half of people between the ages of 12 and 21 do not exercise vigorously on a daily basis. Physical Education classes help to teach teens about the importance of exercise, but how fit they are personally should not affect their GPA. Teenagers should be graded on their test scores and participation, not how their bodies work and react to extreme physical activity. There are many teens, as well as adults, in America who need help with physical fitness, but this help should not come at the cost of poor grades and pressure. I recognize how important physical education classes are in schools. Students are taught how to keep their bodies healthy, something that is very important in a world of fast-food and tv shows. But when PE grades affect a students GPA, they often focus on their grade in the class rather than their bodies and personal limits. If students were taught to respect their physical boundaries rather than being told to run faster if they want a decent grade in the class, physical education in schools would have a much more positive effect on students.