Show choir joins list for physical education exemption in Ohio

MENTOR, Ohio-- Ohio high school students who perform in show choir can now be excused from going to gym class as part of a physical education exemption passed by the Ohio General Assembly.

The credit is being applauded at Mentor High School, where the Top 25 show choir has been part of the fabric of the school for more than half a century.

Supporters of the Top 25 said being a member of show choir requires the same kind of commitment shown by members of other Cardinal teams. Principal Jason Crowe told Fox 8, "

"It's long practices. It's throughout the entire school year. They work over the summer. There's summer camps. Between dancing, singing, it's a huge commitment and we're very proud of our students," said Jason Crowe, principal.

The new legislation allows school districts the option of excusing show choir members who have performed for two full seasons from the physical education requirement for graduation.

"It's a performing art, it's musical and it's dance and it's a lot of dance, as well as a lot of motion and rhythm. The interaction that the students have among each other and with other schools where they compete is also relevant," said Rep. Tracy Richardson, sponsor of the bill.

The legislation adds show choir to a list of student physical education exemptions that includes athletic teams, marching band, cheerleading and junior reserve officer training.

"I think as long as kids are being physically active, that's a win and we feel they're meeting that requirement through their show choir,” Crowe said.

It will now be up to school districts in the state to set the exemption policy. Supporters said there is strong support for the credit in districts that have long-standing show choir programs.

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