Why are CCHS Students Stripped of a Health Class?


Maia Patt '25

During Red Ribbon Week, students are able to experience various activities that promote community and love. On this day, a petting zoo came onto campus, and students spent time with cute animals!

The San Diego Union High School District (SDUHSD) requires a health class for all incoming students. This health class covers everything from drug abuse to meaningful mental health practices. If every public high school in San Diego educated students on proper mental health, then why doesn’t Cathedral Catholic High School (CCHS) follow suit?

The lack of a health class strips CCHS students of their inevitable need to be educated on proper health practices. Even though CCHS offers activities such as Yellow Ribbon Week and Red Ribbon Week, two weeks out of the 42 weeks in a school year is not nearly enough to create a health-focused environment on campus.

Both Yellow Ribbon Week and Red Ribbon Week make students aware of the struggles with drug usage and mental health problems high school students face. During these two weeks of school, students had endless opportunities to reach out to faculty for support.

However, it is essential that this welcoming environment is present all-year round. In order to make these changes, activities on campus during these two weeks such as motivational speakers or therapy dogs should be offered periodically year round. This would make CCHS a better environment for students throughout the entire year.

While it is clear that CCHS is attempting to instill more optional opportunities for students, there still needs to be more mandatory health-focused activities and classes for students.

Since CCHS is a private school, there are more opportunities to spend financial resources in ways that benefit students. Which is why there should be more health-focused support available to students.

As a CCHS student who transferred from a public school, I feel that I learned more about physical and mental health during my one year at public school than my years at CCHS. This is because all freshmen in public schools have to complete a health class, a requirement not present at CCHS.

Creating a mandatory health class will give students access to critical knowledge regarding their health that will prepare them for their future. Public schools allow their students to be educated on important topics that CCHS fails to cover.

Lessons including healthy mental health habits, drug usage, proper exercise, balanced diets, and sex education are necessary topics that must be taught in schools. Unfortunately, CCHS prioritizes a Catholic education above health. While a Catholic education is important, CCHS must still educate their students and prepare them for society.

Today’s society is reporting increased suicide rates, risk of addiction, and obesity. Educating students helps lower these statistics, and show students realistic ways to improve their lifestyle. By improving each student’s individual health, the quality of the CCHS community as a whole will improve.

After speaking with many CCHS students, there appears to be an agreement that the only consistent opportunity to learn about health is during Psychology classes. Unfortunately, this class is only offered to upperclassmen. As a result, underclassmen must face the struggles of their early highschool years without support provided by their sch0ol.

This solidifies the importance of health class to the CCHS’ curriculum. It would allow students to have a critical opportunity to learn beneficial health practices, while also making CCHS a more welcoming environment for students.