Disabled students may now join the stampede to opt out of high school gym class. The law already allows varsity athletes to opt out, but disabled kids who play adaptive sports not sponsored by the school didn’t have that option, until now. Why does it matter? Adam Woodworth, the father of Tyler Woodworth, the disabled Lockport High School student who sought the change, explains:
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“A varsity athlete who plays basketball could get this PE waiver and essentially take an AP course, an advanced placement course, and what that does is that will weight that varsity player’s GPA, and so it really puts kids with disabilities at an academic disadvantage to their able-bodied peers,” he said. Tyler Woodworth plays sled hockey. His situation – the physical education requirement filled his schedule to the point where he couldn’t take the computer design course he wanted – was the impetus for this legislation. He was on hand with his father as the governor signed the bill into law.
The bill was sponsored by State Rep. Emily McAsey (D-Lockport) and State Sen. Billy Cunningham (D-Chicago). The law takes effect immediately.