Physical Fitness Testing Concerns: Bullying and Inclusion


  • Melissa Bittner California State University, Long Beach
  • David N. Daum San Jose State University
  • Tonya Moore Los Angeles County Office of Education
  • Debra Patterson California State University
  • Diane Wilson-Graham CA Physical Education-Health Project
  • Patricia Suppe Loma Vista Middle School and District Coordinator Supervisor of Student Teachers CSU




 In February 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget recommended suspending the state-mandated physical fitness test (FitnessGram®️) for three years due to concerns over bullying and test discrimination against students who identify as gender non-binary and students with disabilities. The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of California physical educators’ perceptions of the state-mandated physical fitness assessment. Snowball sampling was used to recruit 1,082 participants who completed a survey with quantitative and open-ended questions. Analysis of the open-ended questions indicated the two main themes were “how to improve fitness testing” and “challenges in fitness testing.” It is imperative to consider the needs of all students, including those who identify as gender non-binary or have a disability, and ensure physical fitness testing is conducted in a safe and welcoming environment.