We Need To Reconsider Health Class

Gabriel Rader, Co-Editor

According to the course catalogue, health class’s purpose is to help students “acquire knowledge yin skills to promote lifetime personal wellness through applying responsible decision making skills in daily life.” But how well are we executing these tasks and in what ways could we carry out these goals better?

Health class should be a class that can help students with nutritional, mental, and physical health., and I have some suggestions on how we could be more effective in teaching these ideals to teenagers.

During high school, student’s ages can range from 14-18, and in those years we all know how many changes a student goes through as they move from a child to an adult.

Consider, 14 year olds enter a building with young adults–they are bound to come face to face with young adult problems. Due to this fact, we need to act sooner rather than later. Right now, the school offers health to every student in 10 grade, but they should offer it in grade 9, instead. Why? We need to give the younger high schoolers extra help with preparing for the more adult themes they’re bound to run into during high school.

It’s no secret that freshmen are bound to be more impressionable than a junior or even a sophomore. They’re new here and they want to fit in. So, what could that lead to?

If/when a freshman meets a senior in the bathroom, and the senior offers a vape, the chances of the freshman saying no are slim. The cliché term “peer pressure” and the need to fit in are age-old problems; chances are if a freshman is offered anything, they’ll need to make a quick decision, and chances are they’ll say yes. That could be the gate way of a start of an addiction, bone we could help prevent.

If we move health class to the first semester of freshman year, and now with the proper education, the student will know what to do in these tough situations. They’ll be educated on the contents in a vape or any substance for that matter. They will know how to prepare for any tough situation.

After all, one of the primary goals of health class is to promote “lifetime personal wellness” and “responsible decision making”. Why offer this helpful guidance to students a fourth of the way into high school? Since these are some of the most important years of a student’s life in regard to character building, we need to offer this class as soon as possible.

Responsible decision making also includes making good decisions in the bedroom. Let’s face it, people are engaging in sexual activities at an earlier age, and there is little we can do to stop it. Instead we can be proactive in sexual education to encourage responsible decision making and healthy habits in this situation. For a thoughtful reflection on this idea, please click here to review senior Gabby Yerkins’ research/solution paper.

To help strengthen our knowledge of good decision making, the ability to ask questions is imperative. During our sexual education unit of health class, I could not help but notice every girl was dead silent throughout the class, while the boys were talkative, inquisitive, and rambunctious.

I believe in order to allow students to feel more comfortable with talking about such sensitive subjects, the school should offer both a male and female health teacher.

Another way to encourage class participation and open, honest discussions, would be to have more relatable teaching figures. I believe we should selectively choose upperclassmen to participate in the freshman health classes on a regular basis. This way, students can feel more comfortable talking and asking questions about more serious subjects that a teacher might have difficulty being down to earth about.

These upperclassmen would be hand selected, based on leadership and communication skills.

By implementing these changes, the school could utilize health class to make it a much more beneficial part of a student’s high school career to achieve lifetime personal wellness through responsible decision making skills in daily life.