Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Shasta students using their heads

Joanne Jacobs highlighted an issue regarding the Soda Ban at public schools, which is required by July 2007. Apparently a group of students at Shasta High School in Redding, California are irritated that they are being treated like social guinea pigs in a politically correct obesity experiment. The San Francisco Chronicle reported the story in which the President of the Student Union stated that it would be better if the students were encouraged to choose wisely in regards to their health habits, not eliminate choices that might, or might not, seriously contribute to obesity.

It's nice to see that students are attacking this politically correct idiocy, which is lead by State Senator Martha Escutia, who stated that the schools "should not be in the business of selling junk food." Oh really? I guess that means that all the chips on the shelves (which are filled with trans-fat) should be gone, along with the nacho cheese sauce that is probably toxic, and the cookies and ice cream that are available in the frozen display cases, and finally the orange, fruit, and sport style juices that are slammed with sugar. Come on. Are you seriously going to tell me that food now is worse than school food that was available 10, 15, 20 years ago? Of course not, and we were not a generation that was known for being fat.

Let's face it, the problem with today's children and obesity is the fact that kids don't go out and "play" any more. Computers, Internet, and video games now command a child's attention, while street football, hiking around in the woods, riding bikes, or simply playing almost any sport, have become secondary issues. Schools should be putting more emphasis on physical education, not eliminating food choices to satisfy lazy parents. Here are a couple of realistic ideas:

1. Eliminate summer school P.E. classes. Here in Ukiah, they are pretty much a joke, and most of the students are outside more in the summertime anyway!

2. Require P.E. for all four years of high school. We have a massive amount of Seniors who are done with school by 10:30, and then go home and do nothing. Keep the older kids around longer. Make exceptions for students that participate in a school sport, since those are AP Physical Education courses anyway.

3. Make P.E. classes different. Have a standard P.E. class for freshmen and sophomores, then diversify at the upperclassmen levels. Weight training should be a must for any successful athletic program. Other ideas could include Net Games, Ball Sports, Aerobics, circuit Training, and that's only a little taste of the possibilities.

Once again, focus on the problem, not the politically correct solution that satisfies the whiny parents.
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