In the Kennewick School District, marching band does not count as a P.E. credit, and I can't understand why.
Over the course of a 180-day school year, a student in P.E. will average roughly 165 hours of physical activity. In a season, a member of the Kamiakin High School Marching Band (which I happen to be a part of) will average around 250 hours of physical activity. Students in the band march nine hours a day for two weeks every summer. In addition, they march for seven hours every Saturday and four hours every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the season.
We work just as hard, if not harder, than those in a physical education class. Marching band is pretty intense. Don't believe me? Try marching (which is different from walking, mind you) with a 40-pound tuba on your shoulders at high tempos for hours on end, and tell me that you're not breathing harder.
I agree that physical activity is important for our health, and I believe we're getting a great deal of exercise by participating in marching band. I think that the school board should allow members of marching band to get credit where credit is deserved.
BRETT MATHESON, Kennewick