Lawsuit: Students Being Cheated Out of P.E. Time

Four San Diego County school districts are named in a lawsuit, accused of not giving their students enough exercise.

Students in grades K through 6 must get 200 minutes of exercise for every ten days of class, according to the state education code. That's on top of lunch and recess.

The suit alleges students in 37 school districts in the state are not getting enough exercise. These include the Del Mar Union, Chula Vista Elementary, Oceanside Unified and Solana Beach Elementary.

Doctor Holly McClurg, Superintendent of Del Mar Union School District, says she is “perplexed” her district is among those named. She points to Del Mar Heights Elementary School as one example of how much attention the district pays to physical education. The school was recently recognized by the California Department of Education for its P.E. and nutrition program.

“We're really proud of our complete program, our exceptional physical education program, and our children are healthy. They do very well on physical education tests, and quite honestly, I'm perplexed as to why we are part of the lawsuit,” McClurg said.

Donald Driscoll is the lawyer for the plaintiffs in the case. Marc Babin is a parent from northern California and head of Cal200, a group that advocates for physical education in schools.

“School districts have been too focused on preparing kids for standardized tests and not focused enough on doing things they need to do,” Driscoll said.

The Chula Vista Elementary School District released the following statement:

Our district and 36 other school districts across the state of California were named in this lawsuit. The irony is that we were named San Diego County’s first Live Well, San Diego! School District. This is a distinction which was awarded to CVESD by the county health and human services agency (HHSA) in recognizing our commitment to improve the health and well-being of our students. Since childhood obesity came to the forefront many years ago, we have made great gains in improving student health and wellness in our physical education program.

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