Thoughts on P.E.

My son recently fractured his wrist during motocross practice and it has reminded me of something I hadn’t thought of in awhile, “Doctor’s notes for P.E.” We’ve been offered these precious notes several times over the past week while at the ER and the orthopedic doctor’s office. It was fun to tell them we didn’t need one because we home school and I’m the teacher and principle. Our school needs no formal “excuse” from a class. We are free people who are capable of making decisions about whether we are up for physical activity or not. And again when making a follow up appointment, the office lady said she’d find an appointment that wouldn’t take too much time out of school. I told her to make it any time, since we home school and we don’t have anyone but ourselves and our own schedule to answer to. It was empowering. Think about it. Why would I want a 3pm appointment? We wouldn’t miss any “school” but we’d spend more of our time at the doctor’s office since by the early afternoon most doctor’s are running behind and more people are “walking in” without an appointment. I’d much rather (even if we were in school) to have an appointment early in the morning or right after lunch when it’d be less likely that we’d have to wait a long time. One hour of “school” apparently is more important than three hours of family time. That’s actually how long we had to wait for my 3:30 appointment to be completed yesterday.

Why do school kids need a doctor’s note to be excused from a class or P.E.? It just seems ridiculous to me. Are they being held there against our will? If I believe my child is too ill to come to school, whether be from stress, a physical ailment, or I think they need a mental health day, I don’t need a professional opinion about it. This is my life and my child, not the school’s cash cow. I can’t believe people put up with it, especially about things like a broken arm or an open wound. My step-daughter had a open wound on her leg. It was a staph infection she got at the school and we were seeing a doctor about it but didn’t even think to get a note for P.E. class. Her teacher told us that she would dock her grade for every day she didn’t swim for P.E. without a doctors note. Really. I couldn’t believe it.