Stop taking away health and fitness as a form of discipline.

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Hello my name is Aquilies Duncan, I am a sixth grade student in the Bronx. I am a proud to be attending this wonderful school where the teachers are nice, approachable and invested in our academic education and personal growth. However, behavior management becomes a challenge and as a result my class is often having our gym class taken away or jeopardized. 

According to research like "Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain" (John Ratey, Little, Brown and Company 2013), "when we move we are using more brain cells than any other activity. Exercise turns on the parts of the brain and helps to train the decision-making parts of the brain. " Evidence shows that exercise is not only good for you but it helps a child become a better student. Research has recommended to stop  taking away physical fitness from the school curriculum despite pressure from the state to increase academic performance. A well rounded education should include a balance of cardio vascular exercise and coordinated movements. Our bodies and emotional health suffer when we sit for long periods of time. It is damaging to our brains, lower back and core, hip flexors, upper back, neck and chest. 

I am asking for your support because gym is very important to me and my peers. I believe it is our right to have time throughout the day to move and release energy from our bodies. It is also not fair that because of a few students and their behavioral challenges, a whole class will have to miss out on their right to physical fitness. I hope that creating this petition, we can start a conversation on how the school can support the students right to move and be healthy. It is very important for our physical, emotional and academic health. It is our right. 



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