Hello my friends. Today I come to you with a very serious issue in my mind. In my high school, a health class must be taken one of your four years, or you may not graduate. I actually wrote a letter to my guidance councilor, my congressman, and my governor (I live in New York), but apparently none of the three thought a 15-year old was important enough to answer. So here is my letter, containing all my reasons for thinking I shouldn't be forced to take health class.
Please note that I am in the top 10 (perhaps 5) oh my grade, and that I am in and enjoy being in my band. Just like all intelligent high school students, the dumber half of my grade aren't the nicest people to me...
To (insert the various people here),
Hello, I am a ninth grade student at (SCHOOL NAME), and around two or three months ago I was informed by my guidance counselors that legally, I was required to take at least one health class by my senior year. Now, I had no major problems with the health class in middle school, except that it was a waste of half a period for me. I spent the entire period working on real subjects that would get me somewhere in life, and still passed with an A in the class. Now that I am in high school, I expected the chance to broaden my horizons with the free elective system. I could finally take classes that interested me, and I could get out of the classes in which I was stuck with peers that either did not take school seriously (thus distracting me from my education), didn't want to be in school (thus distracting me from my education), or in a majority of the situations, both.
So I understood that legally I had to take an art of music credit to pass high school, okay I am in band, and I plan to be in it for all four years, check. I understand that all four years I must take a Physical Education class. Grinding my teeth, I accepted this; the state wants to pretend that 30 minutes (42 minutes minus two five minute changing times) of minimal exercise will keep kids healthy. Besides these two classes, I thought that I would be in the clear, I am an all-honors student, and I plan to either become an engineer, some type of a mathematician, or a doctor when I get older. I had my entire high school schedule planned out so that I could take all the classes I wanted to, and get the best education possible. In this tentative schedule, I did not give myself a lunch any of my three remaining years, and I took the optional independent science research class after school all three remaining years.
So let's take a look at what this schedule would have offered me:
(Not Posting My schedule, just be aware that it contains no lunch except for a half a period in my freshman year, which I finished. It also contains 11 AP classes. I also have an optional research class everyday every year after school.)
Okay, so this schedule offers me half a lunch only my freshman year. I get to take all the classes I want, maximizing my possible college acceptance rate. Sure, my schedule is a little packed, but I get to utilize the absolutely amazing tool that is public education. Now I find out, wait I HAVE TO take another class for half the year, health? That doesn't seem very democratic to me, but I have to try to fit it in, do you see a spot where I can? Yeah, I don't either. Let's see, my guidance counselors recommend I take it 10th grade, so I take out AP Stats, and switch it with Antimony and Physiology/ Intro to C++. Now let's see, to take my state mandated course, I have to remove one of these classes from my schedule... now what did I see my possible futures careers would be? My interests? Oh that's right! Doctor, engineer, and mathematician. I find not only the human body to be absolutely wonderful and fascinating, but I love math and technology, and I wish to be a part of that expanding field. Wait so that means that NEW YORK STATE IS FORCING ME TO NOT TAKE A CLASS THAT INTERESTS ME IMMENSELY, AND INSTEAD MAKES ME TAKE HEALTH. Wow, that sounds extremely democratic to me...
Okay now let's ignore my higher educational reasoning. Let's move on to the argument that health is an absolutely needed class to teach our children about sex and drugs. With that sentence alone I feel extremely insulted, and so should any other free-thinking American. Are you telling me that my parents and I are too stupid to formally educate ourselves about sex and drugs? Any child, who is stupid enough to have unprotected sex in high school and middle school, isn't going to stop just because some teacher tells them how unsafe it is. It is the same thing with drugs and alcohol. I have at least ten different friends who within the last three weeks of this letter have gotten drunk over the weekend. They are all fine. I tell them, "Guys, drinking is bad for you, etc..." Would you like to know their response? "Tony, it's fine, I don't drink that often/enough to harm me."
Now obviously probably two of those ten kids actually do drink enough/often enough to harm themselves, but what will my warning do? Personally, it is the parents job to talk to the kids about these things. If the parent doesn't want to, it is their choice. Don't create a mandatory health class to force the parents to allow their kids to learn about this topic. Sex and drugs have no place in our school, why don't we keep it that way. Why don't we allow smart children to opt out of the class, if they prove they have a reasonable knowledge of the subject matter? Why don't we let out schools actually be democratic for a change.
Now guys, if you think I am being unreasonable, please tell me. Honestly, I think all my points are valid, but I would love to hear your opinions on it. Oh, and as of now, I am taking health next year (no one answered my letter).
Thanks in advance,