kitschbitch's Entry:

user page: 1041
Major: History
School: Oxford University
Status: Second Year Undergraduate

girl excluded for not playing football

I decided to post to this thread because it was a subject that was extremely close to my heart: as someone who spent years of her school career dreading p.e. classes, I felt I could offer strong opinions and personal experience to the discussion.

Although the original link referred to a particular case in the UK, whereby a schoolgirl was excluded for refusing to participate in football (soccer)classes, the discussion rapidly developed into a conversation about the wider issue of school sports classes: what value do they have? do they work in practice for all students? is it even the school's responsibility to instruct students in healthy and sporting activity? and should pupils have to participate in school sports lessons at all?

My position within the discussion was firmly advocating the failings of the teaching of sports within the school system, within the UK at least: that rather than providing the benefits to pupils' health and welfare as intended, p.e. lessons serve only to further the interests and abilities of the most able, leaving the uninterested and inept to be teased and ridiculed for their sporting inabilities.

Although time commitments as a student mean that my time online, and hence to read and post to metafilter, is limited, I felt so strongly about this issue that I was compelled to throw my tuppence worth into the discussion. Moreover, it was an issue that was directly relevant to me - which, given the US-based nature of many metafilter posts and threads, is something that also dictates whether or not I join the discussion, as it's often something I don't feel I know enough about to form an authoritative and credible opinion. However, as someone who also endured the British school system, and who found her own p.e. lessons little more than an occasion for derision, boredom, and getting cold, I felt it was perfectly appropriate for me to comment on the issue at hand.

My comments added at least some weight to the case against the unfailing value of school sports lessons to pupils' wellbeing, as it provoked both rebuttals from those arguing to the contrary, and comments professing similar sentiments. I felt that this thread, off the playing field and in an open forum and non-hostile environment, was the perfect opportunity for those who felt marginalised and ignored by the school sporting system to air their views, and demonstrate that the system may not be as efficient and healthy as those who profited it from it may believe. I hope that my own experiences and comments within this thread went some way to backing up this point of view, especially since as a recent-school leaver they are more than fresh in my own mind.

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