Proposed bill would allow marching band to fulfill P.E. requirem - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Proposed bill would allow marching band to fulfill P.E. requirement

Band directors are supporting a proposed bill that would count band as physical education. (Source: WMBF News) Band directors are supporting a proposed bill that would count band as physical education. (Source: WMBF News)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - After witnessing firsthand the long practices marching bands hold in the heat, one South Carolina senator is trying to get a bill passed that would count band as physical education.

It is a policy band directors across the state are getting behind. .

One local band director said the amount of physical activity and the hours spent on the field are close to what a period of physical education would be.

So, he and the lawmaker who proposed that bill believe students should be able to opt out of the required gym class.

"Most marching bands do the warm-ups and the stretching and the running and the physical calisthenics of it so that would count as what happens in P.E," said Charles Dumas, band director for Myrtle Beach High School.

Dumas, who has been a band director for 25 years, said he'd like to give students more class options instead of P.E. when they consistently work hard during practice hours.

As far as the students are concerned, it's a no-brainer.

One of the band members at Myrtle Beach High School said many students aren't as athletically gifted, so they should have an option.

"I didn't really want to take P.E. but I had to, to have the course covered so I could graduate high school, said the band member. "It hindered my band experience because I couldn't have band every single day like I wanted to."

He said this is something he and his band members want to see happen because they still get more than their fair share of physical activity.

"I hope it just goes through so everyone can have the experiences that they want to have in band," said the student.

Dumas said once people see exactly what band members go through, they will understand why the students want this so much.

"Folks don't put together marching band with a physical activity and folks that haven't done it don't realize," he said. "But folks that have done it are like, 'Oh yeah, it's a lot of physical activity.'” 

Currently, the ball is still rolling on this bill. It was introduced Wednesday and has to go through another panel before heading to the Senate floor for another vote.

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