(CNN)Push-ups, curl-ups and the dreaded one-mile run are a staple of childhood in US schools. But California may put a stop to the tests.
California may stop school fitness tests over fears they lead to bullying and body-shaming
California Governor Gavin Newsom has proposed suspending the physical fitness tests at the state's schools over concerns that they promote bullying and body discrimination.
Under current state requirements, students in grades five, seven and nine are required to take a physical fitness test, which includes the one-mile run, curl-ups, push-ups and a measure of body mass index.
While the administration argues the physical assessments can cause students of different body shapes to be body-shamed or bullied, the BMI screening is particularly sensitive because it asks students to select whether they are female or male.
A number of school districts have complained to the state that this is discriminatory against students who identify as non-binary, according to H.D. Palmer, spokesman for the Finance Department.
If the proposal, which was included in Newsom's budget bill for next year, passes, physical fitness testing would be suspended for three years.
"Dispelling myths, breaking down stereotypes, and improving school climate is one way California is working to keep all students safe and healthy, consistent with the Governor's commitment to a California that respects all students," Palmer said in an email.
During the proposed three-year suspension, the Department of Education would consult with experts on fitness, physical education, gender identity and students with disabilities to determine whether the test needs to be modified or a new assessment should be developed.
The proposal comes as California's annual reports of the fitness test since the 2014-2015 school year show a decline in