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Should Students Be Required to Dress out for Gym Classes?

A fellow student recently told me that he loses five points on his grade for team sports if he does not bring clothes to dress out. This seemed odd to me.

I thought it should be a personal choice as to whether or not someone wants to dress out for gym. Especially since this student has gym class fourth period, so he leaves right after class and can go home and change as opposed to if he didn't dress out and wore the same clothes all day from say, first period.

In my middle school, we wore uniforms and we weren’t allowed to dress out for gym. Wearing our uniforms did not hinder us from doing the activities we needed to in class. It was, however, frustrating to wear the same clothes all day if you had gym in the morning.

Hygiene is important, so if you sweat in your gym clothes, it is a good idea to change. If you have gym fourth period, you can always go home and change. While we should encourage good hygiene, I wasn’t sure that students should get points off if they forgot their clothes.

Another point of view that my mom gave me was that students may be required to dress out to help teach responsibility. It is a student’s responsibility to bring dress out clothes, and if they don’t, they face the consequence of losing points for the day. Teaching responsibility seems like a good reason to require students to dress out.

After considering these reasons, I was still unsure if I thought students should be required to dress out, so I asked Coach Elliott why it is mandatory that students dress out.

Coach Elliott said: “It is my opinion all students should dress out for PE mainly to promote participation. Students are less likely to want to participate if they are still dressed in their school uniform and may have to go the rest of the day in their same clothes after sweating in class. Dressing out includes them wearing the proper shoes which is not only to help them participate but also for their safety.” Next, I decided to ask my fellow students their opinion.

I sent out a survey through Google Forms and found that 51.4% of students that responded think that dressing out for gym class should be optional. The other 48.6% of students that responded think dress down should be mandatory.

Some reasons why students think dressing out should be optional are:

  • That dressing out should be an individual’s choice;

  • Dressing out makes some people uncomfortable;

  • GMC does not have locker rooms, and it can be difficult for everyone to change in the bathrooms;

  • Wearing a uniform does not hinder students from doing the required activities;

  • PE should not keep students from participating just because they forgot clothes;

  • Getting points counted against students’ grades if they forget is stressful.

Some reasons why students think dressing out should be mandatory are:

It is good hygiene not to wear sweaty clothes all day

  • Students cannot fully participate if they are not in proper attire

  • Dressing out provides structure

  • People should be graded on their responsibility to bring clothes for class.

Based on the survey results, opinions were about 50/50. However, responses as to why dressing out should be optional were very convincing. I’m not sure that students’ grades should be hurt because they forgot dress out clothes, but I do think that if you exercise and sweat, you should change clothes. It’s just good hygiene.