You’re out! Alabama ‘inappropriate’ P.E. activities list resurfaces

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A dubious list of activities for Alabama’s physical education (P.E.) classes resurfaced on Tuesday, in “normal” childhood games like duck duck goose, musical chairs and kickball were deemed inappropriate.

The Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) said these types of games can physically harm students, and can lead to children playing favorites. The policies were implemented two years ago, but resurfaced this week after the Auburn University in Montgomery’s (AUM) Physical Education Program shared the list on their Facebook page.

ALSDE PE Guidelines

The now-removed ALSDE PE Guidelines list. (click to enlarge)

The list has since been removed from the ALSDE website, and the AUM Physical Education Program Facebook page.

Director of Coaching for the Birmingham United Soccer Association, Ben Parks told WBMA-ABC 33/40 these games are useful in teaching children life lessons, social skills and perseverance.

“It’s okay to have a winner and loser, it teachers you about life,” Parks told WBMA “You may not get the job interview, the best score on a test, make the sports team. That’s okay, you have to get better every time, right?”

Newsweek reported that Alabama Education Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey decided to pull the document offline on Tuesday after reading it.

“I took it down because it didn’t go out through our normal school system’s process,” Mackey told Newsweek. He also told them the document had never actually earned a formal endorsement.

“I completely disagree with it,” Mackey continued. “We are a state that firmly believes in local control. Local principals and superintendents should be permitted to determine how their physical education programs are run.”

On Wednesday Mackey addressed the controversy with AL.com.

“It is completely up to you which games you play. There is no directive about which games you can and cannot play,” Mackey said according to AL.com. “Go back, tell your principals to take care of their own P.E. problems, please… I can assure you that particular list is not going back up as long as I’m state superintendent.”

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