HB 0836 by Rep. Gary Moore (D-Joelton) rewrites the present requirement of 90 minutes of physical activity per week to one that mandates 30 minutes per day. HB 1441 by Rep. Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) requires every public school student in grades K-8 to participate in physical education each day during the school year – 150 minutes per week for elementary students and 225 minutes per week for middle school students.
There’s no disputing that obesity is on the rise, not only amongst children, but the population in general. And therein lies the problem: kids aren’t getting fat and sedentary at school, but like so many other things, school is expected to provide the solution.
Schools have our children for about seven hours a day, 183 days per year. If we expect public schools to fulfill their mission of actually educating students in the core subjects, providing exposure to a little bit of art and music (helping to develop different parts of the brain), and all of the other things that are already required, we cannot add more unrelated responsibilities.
At some point, legislators are going to have to realize that parents do have an actual role in rearing these children, and that schools cannot both parent and educate in 183 partial days per year.