A few thoughts on S302 which allows students who participate in marching band to waive the physical education class –
Most importantly, please know that I appreciate the physical and mental effort that marching band members put into their practices and performances. I have no issue with having their band participation satisfy the requirements of the Physical Education Standards.
However, Physical Education teachers in many districts also teach the Health and Nutrition Standards during PE classes. Considering the increase in childhood and adult obesity along with the negative cost impact that obesity has on our health system, learning about nutrition along with physical exercise in an integrated curriculum (as we do now) seems the correct approach.
S302 does not mention the Health and Nutrition standards at all. Since each school district has the freedom to decide how these standards are taught, the bill has a pretty big hole in it. When this omission was mentioned during the subcommittee hearing, the solution presented was that students could take the Health and Nutrition part of PE class online. However, not all school districts use the online class for various reasons.
So, the bill, while well intentioned, is confusing.
I and other House members brought these issues up during the sub-committee and committee meetings and an amendment was put forth to clarify some of these issues. It was voted down out of concern that, if amended, the Senate would not concur with the bill which means the bill would be dead for this session.
We produce excellent marching bands in our part of Greenville County. I am proud of the students, parents and band teachers who put the extra effort into their bands now and over the past years to achieve such excellent results. I understand why the bill has gained support. My concern is further confusing our statewide k-12 system that already is badly in need of help.
The bill will be debated by the full House this week. Hopefully, the legislature (meaning both the House and Senate) can produce a bill that is logical and satisfactory to students, parents and all teachers involved.