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Health education a must

Date: 3/9/2009

There is no reason the Longmeadow School Committee is trying to decide between health and music.

Health education for our high school students is not only important for their high school years, it is a critical part of their preparation for college. It is just as important as the academic preparation. They will be forced to deal with the issues related to health including nutrition, sleep habits, alcohol, drugs, relationships, etc. from day one of college, before classes even start. They need more exposure to these issues than just their parents or the colleges can give them.

However, the question is why do we need to hire a teacher to accomplish this? The PE teachers used to teach health as part of the curriculum. I have been unable to get an answer as to why it was dropped just because a PE was cut a number of years ago. The classes may be bigger, but that does not mean we should stop teaching the curriculum. A science teacher who goes from 18 to 24 in a class is still expected to teach the same material. Why don t we expect the same from our PE teachers?

The old health curriculum needs to be revised to be more relevant to the issues our students fact today. The issue is not about money. The School Committee should implement a health curriculum at the high school immediately. The failure to do so puts our children at risk.

Bill Hoff