Greece schools no longer require students in grades 6-12 to change for gym class

GREECE, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - Students in grades 6-12 throughout the Greece Central School District have been given the option to change, or not to change, for gym class. Students; however, are not allowed to change in the locker rooms, only in the bathrooms --something the school says reflects changes over the years.

If students do still want to change for gym class, they are allowed to use bathroom stalls. The policy has some students scratching their heads.

The Greece Central School District decided to change the policy because changing for gym class can be an uncomfortable situation for students. Students in grades 6-12 now have an option to change or not to change for gym class.

"I'm on the fence about it a little," Odyssey Academy senior Emily Dahrsnin said. She says since she was in in 6th grade, changing for gym was mandatory. 

Senior Autumn Harrison is one student in favor of the new policy. 

"I felt that it should be a choice whether you should be able to change or not," said Harrison.

Instead of it being mandatory for students in grades 6-12 to change for gym class, the option to change allows for more time for gym activities.

"Making sure that our students have as much participation has possible with physical activities both inside and outside of school," Assistant Superintendent Kathy Colicchio said. 

Colicchio says this move also caters to who students who may experience anxiety and stress over being in a locker room for a wide variety of reasons.

 "That ranges from not having appropriate clothing, not having clean clothing, to the fact that locker rooms have greatly changed and now basically every child carries a camera with them at all times." Colicchio said. 

But it can be a challenge for those who choose to change. Students now only have five minutes in between classes and cannot use locker rooms -- only the bathrooms.

"If we did want to change for gym, we'd have to leave stuff in our regular locker, and then change during our passing time in the bathroom and come to class." Dahrsnin said.

For the students that don't want to change, they have to wear appropriate shoes like tennis shoes -- not flip flops -- in order to participate and receive credit.

"I noticed that today in gym class everybody was participating," Harrison said. "But there were a few kids who forgot sneakers and wore their nice shoes to school and had to sit out for today and didn't get credit."

The district says they are aware of the problems occurring because the students cannot use the locker rooms. They are having meetings Wednesday and Thursday and foresee reaching  a compromise on Friday.


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