Physical Education policy has parents concerned

Imperial Valley

Physical Education policy has parents concerned

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IMPERIAL, CALIF. (13 On Your Side) - School officials at Imperial High School are keeping some female students from swimming during physical education.

Instead, P.E. teachers force some girls who are experiencing "that time of the month" to walk laps around a parking lot.

Parents tell 13 On Your Side they are angry because the school is singling out female students and letting others know when they are on their menstrual cycle.

Steven van Decker's 14-year-old daughter attends Imperial High School as a freshman.

He says, during her first week of P.E., she got her menstrual cycle and couldn't participate in swimming class.  

Van Decker says - according to school policy, all students are assigned to walk if excused with a note.

His daughter brought a note, so she was forced - along with two other girls - to walk laps as an alternative.

"It's really embarrassing for the girls," says van Decker,  "in fact, my daughter was extremely embarrassed. Because while she's walking, every boy knows she's on her menstrual cycle."

He says this policy also concerns him for his daughter's safety.  

"She walks in front of a pool – which is a parking lot – in circles and traffic is coming in and out. In fact, she almost got hit."

Van Decker says he does not want his daughter out in the triple-digit heat for over 25 minutes, but does not  want her to fail P.E. class either.

"We're not saying that she shouldn't participate in gym – we're saying that she should. But not walk out in a dangerous situation."

13 On Your Side went to the school superintendent's office to take van Decker's concerns.  

We wanted to ask the superintendent if she plans to change school policy. Superintendent Lisa Tabarez was not available for comment.

We also tried speaking with the school's principal, but he was instructed not to speak with us.

Meanwhile, van Decker says he will be writing a letter to the school board asking for a change in the policy.

"These girls could work out in the gym. They're not crippled or disabled – they can walk in the gym, they can basketball – they can do other things. They don't need to be out in triple digit weather.