Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, October 28, 2011

No Play Time for Kindergartners

Even though most teachers and parents believe that recess is vitally important to students' development, especially boys, many schools do not set aside time for recess, even in elementary school. Over the past decade, many schools have decreased or eliminated recess time. In August, kindergarten teachers in Wichita, Kansas received an email informing them that the new school schedule would allow only one 20-minute recess and it would be only at lunchtime. Students will devote three hours to reading and language, and one and a half hours to math. Kindergarten teachers are allowed five of what are called "brain breaks" which can total up to 15 minutes per day, but these "brain brakes" can last only 2 to 5 minutes each. They are nowhere near as helpful to kids as outdoor recess. Five- and six-year-old kindergartners will get a maximum of 35 minutes of recess in their seven-hour school day.

Some of these youngsters would benefit from a nap as well as recess, but the school has different priorities for them. The new schedule puts increased academic pressure on kids who have not yet even started the first grade. The hope is that their scores will be higher when they take their first state assessment tests.

The whole trend to eliminate or reduce recess makes school very difficult for kindergartners and elementary school children, and it is especially discriminatory boys who have a natural physical need to run around and be active. The boys are harmed by the feminist ideology that there is no gender difference between girls and boys, a theory that is absolutely false, as any mother knows from the way babies behave even when they are in the cradle. When it becomes obvious that little boys cannot sit still at a desk for so many hours, many of them are given drugs to make them pay attention. Recess surely would have been a better option.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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