Kids in the United States are fat and getting fatter. This isn’t news to anyone who’s had an internet connection or a pulse anytime over the last 15 years. And, with school budgets being cut more and more deeply year over year, another well known fact is that some schools are opting to cut some vital programs that we used to take for granted. In one school, one of those areas has seemingly been physical education.
On Tuesday, December 1, the California Court of Appeals made it possible for parents to bring schools to court if they fail to meet the mandatory requirements for physical education. Which means that, somewhere out there *cough-Albany-cough*, schools are failing to reinforce the idea to our children that exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. While I don’t always agree with the decisions that come out of Sacramento, I applaud this one. Kids are at school for much of the day and, when they get home, much of their time is spent doing homework, eating dinner, taking a bath or shower and then being shuffled off to bed. And often times, there are after school activities that take up even more time. If our kids aren’t given the time to exercise during school, many simply will not.
Proverbs 22:6 says to “Train up a child in the way he should go: and, when he is old, he will not depart from it.” When I was in grade school, I had PE every day. When I was in middle and high school, I also had PE every day, and I was thin. When I got out of high school, the exercise stopped and my waistline increased. Realizing that the missing component was PE, it was fairly easy for me to get my weight back down. But, if kids miss out on exercise now, if we don’t train them in healthy lifestyles, what experience will they have had to draw from as they try to bring their weight down to a reasonable level? To those who say that it’s up to the parents, I say that consistent exercise is just as important as going to school. And, the news today seems to back me up on this.
Conveniently, CNN.com reported today (12/1) that those few extra pounds that most of us carry around may be shortening our lives. Our kids need to know what a healthy lifestyle looks and feels like and school is an excellent place to reinforce that ideal. So, to the California Court of Appeals, I salute you in this decision. If only there was a way to get them to realize that the moles in my yard create a clear and present danger to the security of the United States, while agreeing to give me federal money to eradicate them — and I’m not against using nukes here — I’d be all the happier.