No More Gym Class in Middle School? Florida Lawmaker Wants To Rewrite P.E. Requirements

All of us remember middle school gym class, some as the best part of the day, and some of us as a hellish daily ritual steeped in shame and failure. But now Republican state Rep. Larry Metz has introduced a bill that would no longer require all Florida middle school students to take P.E. class every year.

As a side note: 18.3 percent of Florida's children are considered obese; that's the 13th highest rate of any state.

Metz's law would do away with the state requirement and leave the decision up to each school district.

"Simply because an idea may have merit for some does not mean that we should use the power of government to mandate it for all," Metz wrote to ABC News. "Some physically fit and active middle school students might rather use that time in their school day to take another elective."

Uh, yeah, it's going to be the "physically fit and active" kids who skip out of P.E. class. All those jocks can't wait to spend their time taking arts class instead.

Though, Metz does point to another important factor: Money.

"Since this mandate was passed, K-12 education funding has been significantly reduced," Metz said. "In the current declining revenue environment, I believe it is only fair that some mandates on school districts be removed."

Predictably however, those concerned with the rising levels of childhood obesity in Florida aren't pleased about Metz's idea.

"If we don't get our middle school children being physically active as early as possible, we run the risk of more obesity and more bad habits developing as we age," Dr. Ralph Sacco, a professor of neurology at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine, told ABC.

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