Bills to Boost Physical Education
The track at Columbia's Hickman High School is usually empty, with the exception of track practice. Soon, that might change. State Representative Judy Baker is sponsoring two bills that would greatly increase the hours of physical education required in school.
"It would create an opportunity for us to make sure that there is consistent effort throughout the state to keep kids healthy, through exercise and through a physical education class," said Lynn Barnett, Assistant Superintendent.
The first proposal would require elementary students to have at least 150 minutes of movement a week, and the second would make secondary students churn out 250 minutes per week. The bills aim to combat the increasing trend of overweight youth by keeping kids active and fit. The problem is that high school weight rooms, like Hickman's, are already overcrowded from the sports teams alone. This begs the question -how will a whole school fit in there?
"There's so many kids. For instance, Hickman is supposed to have over 2,000 kids next year and for all of them to take a one hour class a day of exercise, I just don't know if we have the facilities for it," said Pete Doll, Hickman track coach.
Representative Baker answered that the schools could fulfill the requirements in their own creative ways. The two physical education bills have yet to hit the house floor and get a vote.
Reported by Matt Zellner.