Do students need to take health?

There’s been a lot of buzz on education Web sites, blogs and listservs over a new rule saying Texas high school students will no longer be required to take health.

The Texas education commissioner said the requirement was dropped because of a new law increasing the number of electives high school students must take, according to the Associated Press. Instead of taking 3 1/2 electives, students will be required to take 6.

Texas officials said local school districts can still require health classes. Still, opponents say many students will no longer receive lessons about nutrition, sex education and other topics.

(As an aside, the state kept requirements for arts, PE and foreign languages.)

Georgia’s graduation rules, updated in 2007, require students take 1 unit of health/physical education to earn a diploma.

Should high school students be required to take health education?

NOTE: The Georgia Department of Education may release the annual AYP report today. I’ll post something once the report is released.

8 comments Add your comment


July 14th, 2009
11:14 am

Although Health is important since there are so many life-threatening issues related to sex, drugs and nutrition, a full credit is way too much. I’d rather see 1/2 credit of health and 1/2 credit in money management. We have to get our young people to understand debt, revolving credit, budgets, investments and wise fiscal living to avoid another financial catastrophe like the one we’re having now.

But as far as the health class goes, I think the State needs to develop the curriculum. My child took health and all she did was watch movies nearly every day on things like cutting, suicide, sex, drugs, etc and then take a quiz on the movie. I’d love to see a well-developed 3 part curriculum: Part 1 created by the CDC (health and nutrition), Part 2 created by the State to emulate the Lee Street Resource Center located in Pierce County and Part 3, a lesson on the law, created by someone like J. Tom Morgan (understanding laws for teens).

Then the money-management 1/2 credit can be the Dave Ramsey curriculum (already used in Forsyth County.)


July 14th, 2009
11:19 am

Yes,I think that Health should be required. The high premiums of Health Insurance is booming. The lack of knowledge in health and physical education is what the insurance companies dwell on. Inorder to be a well rounded human being,students must be knowledgeable about their bodies.


July 14th, 2009
11:34 am

This is one of the things that really bothers me about our educational system. Learning how to take care of your body and manage your health is, in my opinion, the single most important thing we learn at school. Look at most of the problems people have in their daily lives and the major issues in our society- they are almost all related to health. I could care less if a student memorizes a foreign language, triumphs over calculus and physics, and writes the most eloquent pose… if they can’t even take care of their own bodies. Our entire system needs to be reworked and people need to consider what knowledge really is most important for our children to be learning in school.


July 14th, 2009
1:08 pm

Supposedly educational level is the biggest predictor of health outcomes…I’m with Teacherlady; improving that statistic ought to be a major goal for schools.

Pastor Maine

July 14th, 2009
1:39 pm

Health Education should be required in all schools starting with the sixth grade. It is time that we stop taking risks on our childrens well-being.

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The Sarge

July 22nd, 2009
3:32 am

As long as fast food seems to have become a three-meal-a-day staple for many (as evidenced by the seemingly perpetual lines at such establishments), YES, these kids need to understand the lifelong consequences of boneheaded dietary choices. While Teacher Lady’s basic premise is fine, I believe she may be inadvertedly dismissing an important issue. To be sure, good nutrition is the cornerstone of remaining healthy through the adult years. However, that same habit of maintaining “nutrition-wise” eating habits during the “basic learning years” greatly supports students’ propensity in mastering foreign languages, advanced mathematics, and means of expression. Sending the kid into the world without a basic grounding in health science is tantamount to sending the pilot aloft without a checklist…in both cases, the journey becomes religated to guesswork and blind hope. Godspeed, kids!