Marilyn Sevell is principal of Martin Van Buren high school in New York and she is determined to show children they have no right to be children, but to adhere to her dictates about life and physical activity. She has initiated a war against sports in the school on the hypothesis that if children are playing they are not studying. Ms. Shevell is doing everything possible to cut back the sport program and focus attention on school work. Anyone who has endured four years in a high school can count on the fingers of one hand the number of interesting teachers who impacted their lives. As one who taught high school for ten years and then spent forty more educating over 12,000 teachers, my experience differs from that of Ms. Shevell. The essence of a good mind is a healthy mind and for many children(me included) hours playing developed a host of skills and ways of thinking that never occurred in a classroom. Children at play engage in creative thinking, they learn how to solve problems, they learn the importance of working in a collaborative manner with others, and they release energy in productive ways.
Ms.Shevell does not like sports. She also lacks any understanding of how humans learn. We need to engage our bodies in productive ways. I guess Ms.Shevell is not a New York Giant or Yankee fan or Knick fan. How about getting her butt on a tennis court and releasing that pent up anger?