Health class shouldn’t be mandatory at Schreiber

Health class shouldn’t be mandatory at Schreiber

Davis Choi, Contributing Writer

Schreiber is the home of many fun and exciting classes, most of which hold some sort of value to students.  In almost every class, students come to school looking forward to learning something new.  However, in the PWSD district, there is one major exception: health class.  After taking health in seventh and ninth grade, juniors, and some seniors, once again go over the values of abstinence, alcohol avoidance, drugs, in addition to a few more topics, for a third time.  In what is already considered the most stressful years of a students education, is health really a class that should be mandatory?

How different is the health class that juniors and seniors take than the one that everyone takes as a freshman?  The answer to that is not much.  In both courses, the same material is preached over and over again, as if the students somehow forgot that drugs and alcohol were severely detrimental to their health.  However, upperclassmen are required to retake the course, which takes up a valuable spot in a schedule.  In high school, the main purpose of electives is to allow students to explore their interests.  By taking away this spot, health class in fact harms the futures of these students.

“Health class does not provide enough or the correct information for our generation, and it takes up valuable slots in a student’s schedule that could be used for a different, more beneficial class,” said senior Sasha Hyde.  

If the school wanted to assess a students knowledge, rather than making every student take the class, they could give a standardized test at the end of sophomore year.  If a student didn’t succeed on that test, or had a history of destructive decision making, then they could be encouraged to take health again.  In this case, a student who may struggle to make good choices can be steered back on track.  Furthermore, students who showed they had the skills and knowledge to continue on without another health course, would be permitted to do so.  With this scenario being implemented, the students who needed help could receive more individualized attention.

“Health class should really only be offered to those who really need it,” said junior Christian Acevedo.

 Our generation, in addition to having unprecedented levels of civic engagement, already follow the safe practices outlined in health class.  Decades of successful safe-sex and anti-tobacco campaigns have finally begun to pay off.  

“At the end of the day, if students are already avoiding dangerous behaviors, there’s no point in messing with a system that works.  We’re all stressed out, and adding more stress might even make it worse,” said junior Griffin Fielding.

This is not a rebuke to the efforts of our schools health teachers, rather, it is an analysis of an outdated administrative policy.  Why devote stressed out kids time to something they already know and abide by?  Instead, health teachers can help students who choose to take the class expand in community outreach and service, as well as helping to correct destructive decisions.