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Show Choir students could skip P.E. class with proposed Iowa bill

Iowa lawmakers considering proposal to allow show choir, marching band students to use exemption from state Physical Education requirement.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Show choir students across Iowa may soon be able to dance their way out of gym class. 

If a new Iowa bill passes, both show choir and marching band students would be able to submit an exemption from P.E. class with a principal's approval.

Senate File 2253 passed out of subcommittee in mid-February, and is now up for full debate in the Iowa Senate. It recognizes the often strenuous, physical demands of the hours-long marching band and show choir rehearsals.

Emmett Johnson, a freshman at Johnston High School, says though he likes P.E., he's on board with the proposal.

"Show choir practices definitely get very intense. Even the practices, not just the competitions," Emmett said. 

Emmett says next year, show choir will take a full period out of his class schedule. But if passed into law, the exemption could help him get a jump-start on his dream career.

"There's like a lot of engineering classes...that I could take," said Emmet.  "If I have to take a P.E. class, that would cut out one of my engineering classes."

Emmett's mother, Danielle, says this idea is a long time coming.

"I think we've all kind of felt for years, the show choir parents, that show choir should be exempt from P.E.," said Danielle. "The choreography is way more intense than going to a P.E. class on any given day."

To read the full bill, click here.