Gym Class: Great Exercise or Stadium of Hate?

March 31, 2008
By Evan MIllstein, Holland, PA

Every day, high school students across the globe change for gym, while others change for torture. A once optional class is now mandatory in Pennsylvania. Although it seems like a harmless difference, the benefits from physical exercise don’t make up for the emotional thunderstorm it causes.

For the jocks of the school, gym is a chance to show off, but what happens to those who aren’t athletic; that’s when the problem starts. Not everybody is blessed with athletic abilities and those who aren’t are faced with ridicule every time they step into the gym.
Ridicule is an awful form of disrespect that exists in every gym class. For example, when picking teams how do you think the last person picked feels? Likewise, how do you think the kid walking into the locker room feels after not getting one ball passed to him in the basketball game? Lastly, have you ever thought about the person who gets out first and then is laughed at by the entire class? All of these things happen, and they hurt. Although it may seem like nothing, being put down by your peers and made fun of on a daily basis can lower ones self esteem to a potentially dangerous level.

In order to keep gym class a way for students to stay fit, changes must be made. By doing simple things, such as having the teacher pick the teams, nobody will be the “last picked”, and everyone will feel like an important team member. Also, gym teachers need to keep their eyes open for students making fun of other students and punish them, so they learn not to do it again. Lastly, every single student needs to step back and realize the torment they may be causing someone. By understanding that they are hurting someone’s feelings they can learn to treat those people as equal human beings even if they aren’t equal athletes.

Gym class can be a hard time for kids who aren't physically gifted. They get ridiculed, made fun of, but most of all put down. If everyone gets a little more perspective on how the “non- athletic” feel, we can stop gym from being a stadium of hate, and turn it back into great exercise.

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