Gym requirements need reconsideration

The school board has rejected a proposed change in physical education requirements. This is a complicated issue, so the board’s decision is understandable, but the plan should be re-examined in the future.
The plan would have made gym class worth 0.5 credits instead of 0.25. This would have allowed most students to complete their gym requirement in their freshman and sophomore years, instead of having to take the class all four years. Juniors and seniors, as a result, would be able to choose more electives.
Board members were concerned that students might just use an extra elective as a study hall. Study halls can be unproductive, and many students would be better off in an elective class. Yet study halls can be helpful for those with busy personal schedules, such as athletes or students in Advanced Placement courses.
Reducing the number of required physical education classes does raise health concerns. Yet many students participate in sports, and so they already get physical activity. Others, meanwhile, choose not to participate in gym class.
Working out all of the issues might be difficult, but finding a way to allow at least some students more flexibility in scheduling is worth reconsidering in the future.