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Plan zapped; finger exercise won't be PE

By Associated Press
Published February 19, 2004

FORT WALTON BEACH - A plan to let students play video games such as Big League Slugger and NFL Blitz in gym classes has been scrapped by Okaloosa County's school superintendent.

Fort Walton Beach High School wanted to use a PlayStation as part of a team sports course next school year as a way of motivating more students to take physical education, principal Alexis Tibbetts said.

Superintendent Don Gaetz halted registration for the course Tuesday, calling it "an idea whose time will never come."

The course would have included one day of classroom instruction in football, baseball and basketball, two days of physical activity and two days of PlayStation tournaments.

Some students would rather take an F in gym classes than participate in physical activity, said Charlene Couvillon, assistant principal.

"Kids don't want to dress out," she said. "They don't want to do anything physical. This is our way of getting them to move around."

Gaetz said it was the wrong way. Tenth-graders who had signed up for the course now will have to choose other physical education classes. Among the offerings are such nontraditional PE classes as bowling, tumbling and the care and prevention of athletic injuries.

Gaetz nixed the class five days after the Governor's Task Force on the Obesity Epidemic issued its report. It showed obesity rising among teens and said more than half of the state's high school students did not participate in physical activity at school last year.

[Last modified February 19, 2004, 02:00:25]

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