Parents turn to doctors, lawmakers to save school recess


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP/WOOD) — When parents tell Dr. Gregory Fox their child was stuck in a classroom all day, the Rhode Island pediatrician takes out his notepad and writes a doctor’s order.

It tells teachers: “Please do not take away this child’s recess.” 

So many kids are being deprived of unstructured play that a note from the doctor is one way parents around the country have gone over the heads of principals who can’t find the time to schedule recess. Another is government mandates.

Rhode Island’s House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday to require 20 minutes of recess at elementary schools each day and bar teachers from taking it away as punishment. A similar bill passed in New Jersey this year but was vetoed by Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who called it stupid.

Bill DiSessa with the Michigan Board of Education told 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday the state currently has no legislation requiring recess.

He said while Michigan’s Board of Education provides guidelines based on national recommendations, it’s up to local school administrations to decide recess rules.

Online:Michigan Board of Education physical education guidelines 

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