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Posted on Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 12:20 p.m.

Bill would mandate physical education in all public K-12 schools

By Capital News Service

LANSING- The state may require public schools to offer specific amounts of physical education at the elementary and middle schools levels, not just high school.

The Michigan Department of Community Health says more physical education in schools could help Michigan’s growing obesity problem.


Join in the fun at the YMCA Healthy kids day this Saturday May 8 at the Ypsilanti park.

Rep. Maureen Stapleton, D-Detroit, recently introduced a bill that would mandate every school offer physical education and health programs. The bill would establish the amount of time a student would take part in physical education during the course of the school year.

The bill states that schools have a program for health and physical education for students of both sexes in all schools and that each student attending public schools that is physically able would have to take the class.

The bill would allow a slow progression of more health education classes.

The bill would require 30 minutes of physical education at least two days per week for elementary grades and 45 minutes each day for middle school day.

In addition schools would be required to give 60 minutes of health education a week for elementary students and 225 minutes of health education for middle school students over three years.

The bill has a clause stating that the number of students per teacher in physical and health education classes should be at the same rate as other classes.

In 2007, a similar bill failed.

High school students must have one credit of physical education to graduate
A quality physical education program requires more than just rolling out a ball and telling the children to play, said Roger Jackson, executive director of the Michigan Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Michigan has about 800,000 obese children, according to the Michigan Department of Community Health. Obesity contributes to many chronic conditions: heart disease, hypertension, stroke, diabetes, asthma, certain kinds of cancer and depression. If obesity rates keep up, Michigan will spend $12.5 billion in medical costs relating to obesity, according to the department.

“We want to improve the health of the Michigan population, that’s our main goal,” said Olga Dazzo, director of the Michigan Department of Community Health. The Michigan Department of Community Health says a step forward is to educate the young.

“Children spend a large portion of their day in their school systems,” said Angela Minicuci, public information officer for the Michigan Department of Community Health.

To change the environment in Michigan and its obesity rate, education needs to meet all aspects of a person’s life, she said.

The Department of Education has benchmarks for each grade level in elementary school. For example by the end of the second grade students should be able to walk, run, leap, skip, hop, gallop, slide, chase, and dodge.

“Will we ever get to those standards? Even though it’s a policy statement by the board of education, it’s not law,” Jackson said. “Recommendations are not legislative acts.”

Since physical education isn’t tested on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program test, it often doesn’t get as much attention as the core subjects, he said.

Jackson supports the concept behind Stapleton’s bill but worries about it passing. In the past, bills that contain both physical and health education did not pass, Jackson said.

He said that it’s hard to get everyone to agree on both issues.

Illinois is the only state that requires daily physical activity for students each year they are in school, Jackson said.

Some Michigan schools meet or surpass the Board of Education guidelines.
Schools in the Traverse City Area School District must have three physical education classes for high school students- rather than the standard two.
They also require a hybrid physical and health education class, said Marjorie Rich, president of the Traverse City Area School Board.

“We as a district chose to go above and beyond,” she said.

Rich’s district exceeds the requirements in Stapleton’s bill for elementary students but doesn’t meet the middle school requirements.

The district is concerned about obesity and the current lifestyles of many students. “But I think alone, that isn’t going to do it. I think we need to look at school lunch programs and what is being offered and a health component,” Rich said.

“Our research shows that a vast majority of our schools have a fairly strong physical education program especially for elementary students,” Ellis said. “When it becomes less clear on the level of activity, is when students move into middle and high school.”

This is an issue because some courses are physically active like dance but don’t get counted in the curriculum as a physical education class, Ellis said.

The Department of Education doesn’t comment on pending legislation but will always promote physical activity because it is good for the health and education of the student, Ellis said.

Minicuci says that more physical education would be a good step in educating people about a large issue in Michigan.

“Just like anything else, we could give someone a set of knowledge skills but that doesn’t mean they are going to use them but at least they have them available to them,” Jackson said.

© 2011, Capital News Service, Michigan State University School of Journalism. Nonmembers cannot reproduce CNS articles without written permission.



Mon, Jan 2, 2012 : 5:25 a.m.

I can't believe anyone would oppose this funded or not. Frankly, I am surprised schools do not have physical education and health classes. This is especially important because of the issue of high cost health care. Go to the CDC website and read up on obesity in the US. Here is a study on the costs of obesity in California: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> And a study of the costs of obesity from a study in Australia: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> So funded or not, getting people healthy saves money.


Mon, Jan 2, 2012 : 9:51 p.m.

What schools don't have the classes? The issue is whether PE should be required, instead of being an elective. Also, does anyone really believe PE will affect obesity? Will this override the real causes?

Fat Bill

Mon, Jan 2, 2012 : 2:01 a.m.

Let's include P.E. as part of an overall expansion of the school day to meet the demands of the 21st century. Increase funding, and let's have school from 8 am to 5pm, just like a regular workday. School needs to be year-round, just like work, and you could structure the day to focus on the &quot;hard&quot; classes early in the day, the fluffy stuff later in the day, and reverse that for the older kids who are known to be less awake in the early morning.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 10:57 p.m.

I would like to recommend the free NAAFA Child Advocacy ToolkitSM (CATK) and other written guidelines/resources to assist you looking at programs. The total health of our nation's children is a serious responsibility. A Yale Rudd Center report reviewed existing research on weight stigma in children and adolescents, with attention to the nature and extent of weight bias toward obese youths and to the primary sources of stigma in their lives, including peers, educators, and parents. As a result of weight bias and discrimination, obese children suffer psychological, social, and health-related consequences. Substantial change is needed to combat this bias. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> Rebecca Puhl of the Rudd Center further brings to light the stigmatization of large children in the following article. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> The NAAFA Child Advocacy Toolkit shows how Health At Every Size® takes the focus off weight and directs it to healthful eating and enjoyable movement. It addresses the bullying, building positive self-image and eliminating stigmatization of large children. Additionally, the CATK lists resources available to parents and educators or caregivers for educational materials, curriculum and programming that is beneficial for all children. It can be found at: <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;mode=embed</a>


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 10:43 p.m.

About time and while they are mandating pe have them start working on providing healthy lunch choices and rid the lunch room of pop!

Dagrmc McEwen

Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 7:25 p.m.

This bill shouldn't have been needed. Schools should require a well thought out regimen for all students with the exception of those who participate in sports;such as basketball, football, tennis, soccer. Obesity in school age children is a serious health problem. Also leads to financial problems due to increase medical costs related to the poor health condition of students. However, the student's parents are part of the problem, they are obese for the most part. The schools should also require students to take Home Ec. Students need to know the best ways to spend money they will earn later in life. How to buy nutritious foods with limited funds; to understand economics and finance, to be able to make wise financial decisions.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 6:33 p.m.

Remember the 1960's school song: &quot;Go you chickenfats, go&quot;: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 5:58 p.m.

Most of these posters sound like a bunch of politicians each blaming the other party for the problems. Notice none claim there is no problem. Lets face it people , children included are not as active as we were 40 years ago. To busy working to play any sports with the kids. And have to work long hours to pay the bills.

J. A. Pieper

Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 4:52 p.m.

And here we go adding another aspect of life that the public schools have to be responsible for, taking on what parents used to do. I do believe that children need to be more active, I recognize that obesity is an issue with children today, but the schools can't take over every responsibility of parents. Families don't feel as safe with their children playing outside as much as we used to when we were younger, this is one reason obesity is on the rise, and having physical education in the schools helps greatly with this part of today's life. But add to this the amount of time children sit in front of TV and use video games, the 30 minutes of Physical Education twice a week isn't going to balance out the amount of time sitting. Don't even get started with the unhealthy food served by the schools, luckily much of which is thrown away by students.Parents complain that their child needs a snack while at school, and what do they send? Very rarely is it something truly healthy! Obesity is a problem of todays' society, and cannot be fixed by a mandate for the public schools. Oh, and just curious, are public CHARTER SCHOOLS going to have to follow this mandate?


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 4:02 p.m.

This won't cost more money, but it will result in fewer choices at middle schools. If everyone must take PE, many students will no longer be able to take Band &amp; Choir, or a foreign language. Once again, non-educators are making educational decisions and schools are being told to take responsibility for the failires of parents.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 3:50 p.m.

So in some's considered medical opinion obesity is caused by eating junk food, lack of exercise, and reckless behavior. What about actual medical disorders? Have you ever heard of diabetes? Adrenal gland disorders? Thyroid gland disorders? Other pancreas related disorders? How about other hormonal disorders? Metabolic disorders? Hypothalamic injury? Then the mental issues that may impact food related consumption: depression, anxiety, stress, and other psychological matters? I'm sure I'm missing many, many other physical and mental causes of weight gain that have nothing to do with reckless behavior, lack of exercise, or consumption of junk food. Clearly these opinions are uniformed, as is the plan by the legislature - but what's new with that.


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 1:34 a.m.

You can spin it however you want, redirect it however you like and make up as many excuses that make you sleep better at night. The cold hard ugly truth of the matter is exactly what you stated in your first sentence. You know it, I know it and something needs to be done now.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 3:19 p.m.

The focus should not be on 'kids need PE in school to lose weight' but on teaching children lifelong wellness. The curriculum should include nutrition, anatomy, and physiology with the concomitant need to learn foundational concepts in biology, chemistry, physics and the transformation of energy - all of which require mathematical descriptions. The debate shouldn't be about what to eliminate to make room for PE but how to leverage these subjects in teaching PE. Dance and movement art can be incorporated as well. Martial arts provide discipline training as well as physical conditioning. Meditation could be beneficial. Learning to view and accept the differences and similarities in physical appearance and ability might be a side benefit. The huge number of obese and diabetic adults in this state is an argument in favor of teaching wellness in K-12 schools - the parents obviously didn't learn it and are unable to teach it to their children. Given the public health cost the state incurs from an unhealthy middle-aged population, the state is wise to try to reduce this cost in future. Year-round schooling would provide added time to include all subjects including PE.

Ron Granger

Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 3:08 p.m.

Gym &quot;teachers&quot; were among the most sadistic I encountered growing up in Michigan. And the massive egos! The ability to demand kids jump on command, run in circles, break dance like an idiot, etc, sometimes goes to their heads. Kids with physical issues - knee pain, etc, were pressured to run miles. And just how are grades handed out? It is astounding that those arbitrary grades were a part of my GPA. I agree that kids need to toughen up and build character, but I don't see it coming from that source.

Fred Crothers

Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

You know and yes here I go again but when I was in grade school and into high school we did &quot;physical activities&quot; yup we went into the gym, what a concept there was actually a room for physical activities!! run around, throw a ball play dodge ball, oh sorry we can't do that anymore some one &quot;might get struck by the ball!&quot; sorry we can't do that any more! Oh yeah and we shouldn't do volley ball 'cause IF someone hit the ball too hard you could get a concussion from a &quot;too forceful strike&quot; and UMMM we can't have our kids falling on the floor if they should run too fast and lose their footing! OKAY ENOUGH already! this is why our kids are over weight! GIVE them the chance to excersize, give them the chance to expel some energy! If their parents don't feel that their kid needs excersize then let them exempt their kids from physical activities, but them shame on you parents for not giving your kids the activities they NEED! OK I say I'm all for this legislation but I thought it was already in place from the President's office back in MY day!


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 2:19 p.m.

We already have physical education in elementary schools. Each grade is allotted a specific amount of time along with art, library, and music. All of these activities enhance the education of the children. As for middle and high school, I am not sure -- believe it is an elective. So not understanding why the senate is working on this when it is already in place. Maybe some should start visiting schools to see exactly what is going on in the various public school systems.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 8:17 p.m.

Yeah, but some schools have PE once a week for 45 minutes. We need kids in PE 3 times a week for 30 minutes each time. In Ann Arbor, we could get rid of World Language which is a 30 minute block twice a week and replace it with a good solid recess. This world language takes away teaching time which forces teachers to have to make it up during what use to be recess time. Getting more PE time might be hard, but some things could be removed and teachers could get back outside for recess.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 12:18 p.m.

The only thing most kids exercise is their fingers playing on the computer, video games or texting..time the rest of the body caught to all the normal negative AA comments, one must remember that &quot; liberal whine is the sweetest when it's squeezed from sour grapes &quot;.....

Billy Bob Schwartz

Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 5:03 a.m.

hank...I believe the saying is, &quot;The nut doesn't fall far from the tree.&quot;


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 2:06 p.m.

My guess its the conservatives that need more rounds on the tread mill. Just review a video of a t-party rally. The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 2:59 a.m.

This has less to do with politics (at least in my opinion) and more to do with just looking around you and seeing the vast number of overweight children that are being brought up. Kids need to exercise, plain and simple! Most of the kids that do get adequate amounts of exercise generally participate in some type of sport. However, we know that not all kids are athletes (and we shouldn't expect them to be either) but gym class is a good time for them to at least try out different activities whether they are good at them or not. If more P.E. will help to control the weight issues with our youth, I'd be happy to contribute my tax dollars to these efforts. Health is just as important as any other subject in the K-12 curriculum and we should all support the fight against childhood obesity in any way possible. I'm so sick of reading articles about kids under the age of 16 having heart problems or type II diabetes and I believe this mandate is a good start to beat these adult-type of ailments in our children!


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 5:48 p.m.

Rob? That is totally uncalled for. I hate to say it, but we may end up policing the children into a healthier state. I agree with this poster and this bill.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 5:50 a.m.

How about just beating the children, or is that the next unfunded mandate?


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 2:40 a.m.

If its about public schools the arm chair teachers come out. They know all the answers simply because they attended school or their children are in school. The assault on public schools, by the republicans, has caused even greater anger towards the teachers that have not caused the problems of today's society. I would love to be a fly on the wall and watch Joe public face 40 freshmen students that are now their's to teach and keep order.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 4:59 a.m.

I could not agree more. The schools and, by extension, the teachers, have been charged not only with educating our children, but with raising them. Unfortunately, teachers don't have the authority to be parents of their kids and do the raising. It's about time Americans wised up a bit about this. Schools can teach, but if you want them to raise your children, then give them the authority to do so. This includes all the things people keep harping on all the time, such as morals and values and behavior and all the rest. Please, when you start to make one of these cracks about the &quot;failure of our schools and teachers,&quot; ask yourself if this is, or should be, really a part of the schools, and if so, how you propose (seriously, not crack-pottedly) that this should be done, and especially what powers you are willing to grant them to do these things.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 1:14 a.m.

In response to other concerns. &quot;Do you think India and China care about phys ed for everybody? No!&quot; How many fat Indian and Chinese students do you see in schools in their country? Heck, how many fat Indian and Chinese students (and we can add in Japanese, Vietnamese, and other Asian countries as well who are kicking our butts academically) do you see in schools? Very rarely do we see children in those countries who are overweight. Research has shown that students who are healthier tend to do better in school than those who are not as healthy. Maybe that has something to do with why they are better academically. There is one other factor that also has to do with my those students are generally healthier and that also impacts thier academic performance: The family unit. Families in those countries tend to be much tigher groups than United States Families are and they tend to be much more invovled overall in thier childrens lives than do parents in the United States. One thing I love about teaching in schools with large Asian immigrant populations is I know the parental support will be much higher than it is in schools with smaller Asian populations. I'm not saying all parents aren't invovled, but there is a noticable difference in the invovlement with different groups of students and that invovlement has a significant impact on the education process for children.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 4:51 a.m.

jns...The fact is that China is whipping our butts in figure skating and a lot of other sports because they have a totalitarian dictatorship in which children with athletic potential are taken from their families and sent to places where they work and work and work and work and work, and if they do as well as the government hopes, they go on to fame and, well, not so much fortune. If they don't do that well, they are a disgrace and are dumped. You want our kids to be treated like that? I would guess not. When a child must do what the People demand in order to prove the superiority of their culture and their &quot;system,&quot; it is totally inhumane, and I hope we don't have to treat our children that way in order to keep them nice and slim. I think it's the difference between humane and savage.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 5:45 p.m.

Hate to say it but they are kicking our butts in the skating world and in the Olympics as well. We are a fat nation and getting fatter by the minute. Asia and other nations are recognizing this as a problem and are doing something about it. Hate to say it but they are kicking our butts when it comes to world sports. Take a hard look at who is really winning the gold medals these days. Great Britain just admitted this year, um, last year, that they cannot get GB citizens off their duffs to anything sport or health wise. Guess it goes without saying, I don't see a gold medal in their future either.

Tony Livingston

Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 4:01 p.m.

Not sure where you are getting the info for these broad generalizations. Both China and India have many problems like illiteracy, children not in school because they are working at home, infanticide, gender selection through abortion, poverty, etc. My guess is that the biggest factor in weight is diet.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 2:04 a.m.

Studying math and science must lead to being skinny.....


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 1:05 a.m.

I somehow posted my comment before I finished typing everything. I think there are two key reasons for this legislation to be passed. One is that unfortunately the schools are once again having to take over for parents who either don't care enough about their children's health, or don't have the time in thier busy schedules to make sure children are getting the healthy food and exercise they need. The second reason is that the schools, as part of providing for the overall health and education of children have an obligation to provide children the chance to grow up to be the best person they can be. That includes being a healthy person. I graduated high school in 1995 and from 6th grade, when I entered middle school until 10th grade, as a sophmore I had a physical education class EVERY SINLGE regular school day. We may not have had class some days due to testing and stuff like that, but every single normal school day we had physical education class. I did not have PE as a sophomore but took electives so my junior and senior years in school I had PE. In response to some of the concerns which have been possed below. I think if the state is going to require schools to provide this level of PE and health for students the funding does need to be increased to cover those costs. This should not be an unfunded mandate from a government who appears to be doing the best they can to stick it to educators (only some of who deserve it). As for the questions about what courses do we not teach so students can get PE. Here is a list of a few of the elective classes I have had the chance to teach as a substitute teacher around this state. Scrapbooking, Advanced Movie Analysis, Games, and my all time favorite, Introduction to Video Games. Here is what the students did in those classes. Scrapbooking: Students actually worked on making personal scrapbooks using materials from school events as well as things they brought from home. Advanced Movie Analysis:


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 1:08 a.m.

students in this class watched movies and wrote reports about the movies they watched. Games: Students learned stratagies for playing different games including Checkers, Chess, and Risk. Introduction to Video Games: Students learned how to play video games ranging from original equipment like Atari games, to X-Box games. I don't know what bothers me the most, that students were actually getting these classes in middle school, or that teachers were getting paid for &quot;teaching&quot; these classes. I don't see a single class there that is more beneficial to students than physical education and health classes are.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 12:54 a.m.

I will start my comments by admitting I am somewhat biased in my opinion since I have a degree in Movement Science with a teachers certification in Physical Education and Health Education (as well as Biology, Chemistry and Geography). I am 100% in favor of this legislation. It is not just because of the fact it would help my job prospects out, but also because it is badly needed. Physical Education is not just about playing games all the time. A good physcial education program teaches students skills that can help keep them physically fit for a lifetime. Some of the best programs I have seen in schools have not only included basketball and volleyball (games that can be played well into adulthood at the Rec level), but also roller blading, running, snow shoeing, cross country skiing, bicylcing, and other lifelong skills. Not all school have the ability to do this, but many schools also offer swimming as part of the overall physical education program. The key is a combined health and physical education program which teachs students to become smarter and healthier as they grow up.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 5:41 p.m.

Here here. Someone who knows what is going on. Great post.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 3:30 p.m.

Somewhat biased you say?


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 12:29 a.m.

More mandates = more time = more money --- not a bad idea however.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 11:50 p.m.

So...has the State Bd. of Ed. written the MEAP test for PE yet? If not, this can't be very important stuff, can it??


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 11:13 p.m.

We called it recess. Twice a day regardless of the weather. I don't recall any obese classmates. Apparently they don't have time anymore because of all of the other mandates.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 5:35 p.m.

Not only do these daily outdoor breaks help kids physically, they provide needed breaks to reset their attention spans. Besides how much help would 1 hour a week break help kids who spend hours with their electronic gadgets.

J. A. Pieper

Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 4:57 p.m.

But AAPS has such a rigorous curriculum, shouldn't that be enough? There isn't time for recess three times a day to fit in the demands of the curriculum, so that all the children can demonstrate academic growth!

Tony Livingston

Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 3:54 p.m.

Actually, I recall 3 recess periods. 15 minute morning, a 1/2 hour after lunch and 15 minutes in the afternoon.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 5:47 a.m.

So let's add another mandate?


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 11:15 p.m.

P.S. It didn't cost anything either.


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 10:36 p.m.

There's lots of recent confirmation of research that says kids learn best (and adults work best) when they get 20 minutes or more of strenuous aerobic exercise every day. It wouldn't take a lot of equipment, time, or supervision to arrange for a walking / jogging / running circuit in each schools' gym, and teach the kids to monitor their heart rate. Daily exercise would improve the academic performance of Michigan students more than hiring one more (or losing one less) social worker, counselor, or teacher per school. The book Spark by Dr. John Ratey is an &quot;exploration of the connection between exercise and the brain's performance that shows how even moderate exercise will supercharge mental circuits to beat stress, sharpen thinking, enhance memory, and much more.&quot; Maybe Rep Stapleton has read this book and wants schools to give the students in her district a safer place to exercise than the streets of Detroit.


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 10:33 p.m.

Why should it be the schools responsibility to prevent obesity/maintain healthy kids,etc.? Shouldn't it be the PARENTS responsibility to make sure their child is eating healthy and exercising? Why do schools have to do the job of parenting too?


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 5:39 p.m.

Because parents are not doing their job to keep children healthy. Look at the 200 lbs child that was taken from the mother because she had no clue as to what she was doing wrong. Duh! It does not take a rocket scientist to realize that what we are eating is killing us. Look at that movie Roger Moore made. Our child saw and was scared straight. She hates veggies but eats fruit to make up for it. If social workers and nurses gave new mothers a booklet on eating healthy and telling them how to do this, including physicians, then this would not be an epidemic. Needs to start from the beginning. Not the middle. Another article just recently from New Orleans, a boy lost 300 lbs by the time he was in college. It has to start at home.


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 9:22 p.m.

What would the middle schools have to cut to make room for daily PE - electives? Music and art? I'm all for getting kids moving, but I can't imagine the schools having to make this happen. And how would the districts pay for extra staff? It must be nice to be a legislator and think up big plans without having to worry about the realities of actually getting them to work.....


Mon, Jan 2, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

Steve and BB - I am completely aware of how many students there are in the high schools. I graduated from HS in 1975 at the peak of the baby boom when my school was operating at 175% of it's rated student capacity. Providing a walking / running track outdoors or in the gym, and using the pool to swim laps at each AA high school would be be relatively easy to give at least half the students a supervised aerobic exercise period to start their day each and every school day. Allow the other half to do the same thing during 6th period, and you've met the proposed mandate with no additional teaching staff required.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 11:46 p.m.

AMOC....All of Pioneer High will have PE at 8:30 a.m.? What am I missing here?


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 10:47 p.m.

@AMOC: Do you realize how many students are in the high schools? Having 1800 students taking gym at the same time is not practical from a facility standpoint or a safety standpoint.


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 10:23 p.m.

Ann Arbor's middle schools could cut the &quot;advisory&quot; period and substitute gym with no loss of valuable instructional time. And the high school kids should all have PE scheduled for their first hour, starting at 8:30 or so, so that they get out the same time as the elementary students, not 1:30 pm. Grades and test scores would soar!


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 9:09 p.m.

I was watching Leave it to Beaver today and noticed that Larry Mondelo and Lumpy were the &quot;fat kids&quot;. Nowadays they'd be trim and undersized compared to our modern corpulence.


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 8:28 p.m.

The mandated phys. ed. is a good idea. In the 1950s and 1960s, we had some kind of exercise during school, and kids these days should be directed to exercise as well. In fact, it was an uncommon thing to see a fat kid of school age. (Also not a bad idea for private insurance companies to give reduced premiums to those grown-ups who exercise and stay fit, and the corporations can charge more for those who do not exercise and become obese through reckless behavior such as eating junk food.)


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 1:10 a.m.

Sparty, I'm sorry but you sound like every person I've ever heard who is looking for an easy excuse to justify something that in 95% of the cases could be easily corrected if the majority got off their back sides, shut off the tv or the computer and explored the wonderful great outdoors on foot or on bike. We are living in a society of lazies, not sicklies. Sick is the direct result of the lazy. Sorry for living in reality.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 5:10 p.m.

The junk food our children are eating these days is causing our children obesity. I agree with this poster. Our children are not going outside to play anymore because of gameboy and PS what ever. I remember going outside for hours and not getting home until dark. It was not until the 80's that suddenly our children are house bound. Get the children eating vegetables and fruits and off the junk and you will see a great improvement in our childrens lives. Watch Biggest Looser and you will understand this concept. By the way, medical disorders do come from over eating and the junk crap we do give our children. Ours eats healthy and the last time ours saw a doctor for a medical issue? Was for an ear infection she got from camp.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 3:46 p.m.

Here's a fact, not a feeling: The paper, "Obesity Is Associated with Hypothalamic Injury in Humans," will be published in the Jan. 3 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 3:29 p.m.

Oh, so the only medical disorders to increase in 40 years are due to lifestyle factors? Really? What are your sources for this fascinating medical trivia? Links please!


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 12:19 a.m.

Sparty- Half of Americans are obese and this has happened in the last 40 years. When I was a kid less than 5% of kids were obese. The only medical disorders that have skyrocketed in that time are those caused by lifestyle issues. Yes, proper diet and physical activity would solve 90% of the problem.


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 9:18 p.m.

So in your considered medical opinion obesity is caused by eating junk food, lack of exercise, and reckless behavior? What about actual medical disorders? Have you ever heard of diabetes? Adrenal gland disorders? Thyroid gland disorders? Other pancreas related disorders? How about other hormonal disorders? Metabolic disorders? Then the mental issues that may impact food related consumption: depression, anxiety, stress, and other psychological matters? I'm sure I'm missing many, may other physical and mental causes of weight gain that have nothing to do with reckless behavior, lack of exercise, or consumption of junk food. Clearly your opinion is uniformed, as is the opinion plan by the republican legislature - but what's new with that.


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 7:54 p.m.

Here come the tea drinking republicans with more unfunded mandates ... aren't they the party of less government, fewer regulations, more local government control? Unbelievable. In Michigan, the republicans have been on an absolute power trip trying to take over local municipalities through emergency managers, increased regulation in multiple areas (domestic partner health benefits, health benefit cost ratios for everyone else, collective bargaining issues, etc. etc.), yet have decimated funding of k-12 education. They have required reporting of body weight of children and now want to mandate increased physical education in the k-12 education system that they have cut the funding on? Who is going to pay? What else gets cut to pay for this?


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 1:05 a.m.

Yer right sparty, it is sick. No, it's actually sad. It's sad that the government has to step in to take control of something that should be addressed by parents at home. More than likely, yer one of the many that plague their kids with xbox's, play stations and then inundate them with fast food and soda. Glad you and the rest of the libs are happy about the generation XXXL you all are creating.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 5:42 a.m.

Supported by nearly every department in the Republican Administration. She is clearly a mouth piece for Slick Ricks ongoing strange obsession with our kids weight. It's almost sick.


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 9:26 p.m.

right rant, wrong subject... this is a D-sponsored bill


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 7:43 p.m.

FIRST TWO COMMENTS SO NEGATIVE. First, our kids need more physical activity, and since parents clearly aren't doing that at home, schools are forced to do more of it. I agree, that we shouldn't have phys ed over math and science. But really? Have you looked around lately at our children. I see more and more obese kids everyday. As long as the legislation includes funding, I'm all for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 12:58 a.m.

Oh the dark and ugly side to xbox, playstation and fast food fixes for dinner. Welcome to the new generation XXXL.

Susie Q

Tue, Jan 3, 2012 : 12:41 a.m.

These comments are correct. Any new mandates must come with commensurate funding. Schools have been cut and cut and there are many new requirements for paperwork, evaluations, doing more with less, etc. Required PE time should only be approved with accompanying funding.


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 5:06 p.m.

I have to agree with the statement, &quot;parents are not doing it at home&quot;. True. I look on my block and see over weight children. There is a clause that if your child is already involved in an outside sport and does get more then 2 hours of exercise a week? Then you are doing well. I know. Ijust signed ours up for CR credit in PE because ours does 9 hours a week. I guess I am one of those parents who does do it at home. IMO


Sun, Jan 1, 2012 : 4:47 p.m.

I'm with you... as long as it includes funding. The tough part is, it next to never does. I know my tiny school would have to hire a second PE teacher to keep up with these requirements, and we would have a hard time coming up with the money (or room in our building) to do this...


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 7:56 p.m.

You hit the nail on the head....As long as the legislation includes funding. Unfortunately, since NCLB changes to education requirements at the state and national level have been unfunded mandates that have contributed to school districts' financial troubles. The spirit of this legislation is good, lets see if they come up with the funding to accomplish this mandate. My guess is no.


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 7:04 p.m.

Do you think India and China care about phys ed for everybody? No!


Mon, Jan 2, 2012 : 5:14 a.m.

They don't have obesity issues.


Sat, Dec 31, 2011 : 6:59 p.m.

more mandates.. and less money.. so let's get rid of a math or English teacher so we can do the phys ed.. with schools already in financial trouble how do they implement this.