Physical Education in our schools took a giant step toward becoming kinder, gentler, and less of what it used to be this past Saturday. The State Department of Education announced their new standards for physical education in our schools.

P.E. was always the disdain of the physically ungifted. It often placed slow fat kids such as myself in harm's way. Especially during dodgeball games. But alas, dodgeball and other "human target games" will no longer be allowed.

The goal of the standards does seem to be quite admirable in some ways but extremely millennial in others. By millennial, I am referring to the generation of "participation certificate" babies that never had the chance to actually feel the joy of winning or the crushing sadness and motivation of losing.

The new standards do require public school students to take 30 minutes of physical education every day. If you're wondering, recess never has and never will count.

The standards also limit the number of competitive activities within those classes. This is especially true for grades one through five where the focus is more about learning how exercise is an important part of good health.

There will also be a greater focus on diversity within the confines of P.E. While sportsmanship and fair play have always been taught. The differences and sensibilities of all kids should be taken into account. This includes sexual orientation and gender.

One more aspect of the new standards that I do like a lot is this. There is no longer the "drop and give me 20". The new standards forbid using exercise as a punishment or a penalty.  The new standards also forbid the "skipping" of P.E. to take a  makeup test or in place of another school activity.

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