Recess protests

Parents in Florida protest the need for more recess time for their child at school.

Parents in Florida have a problem with their kids goofing off at school. They want more of it.

Adults in the Lake County School District have been complaining for months that their children were not getting any time for recess at school, according to orlandosentinel.com"" This led to protesting that the school district change its policy to add 30 minutes a day for free time.

In Florida, public school recess is not required by the state Department of Education. School boards have the power to set district-wide policy though in much of the state, principals make the recess rules, according to yahoo.com.""

During the Lake County School district's school board meeting Monday, superintendent Susan Moxley wasn't as generous as the parents had hoped. She ended the debate by issuing a directive that all elementary school students in Lake County be given 60 minutes of free time per week. That averages out to 12 minutes a day.

Moxley did give principals the power to increase the recess time at individual schools if they wanted.

"I can communicate that recess is valued, it is supported in our district and it does play a very important role in the health and well being of the learning environment in our schools," Moxley said at the school board meeting. "But a one-size-fits-all [mandate] is very difficult. We never want to put teachers in a situation where they would be out of compliance."

The protests were started by Kristi Burns, who created a Facebook page called "Recess for All" after finding out her 8-year-old son didn't get any recess time at his elementary school, according to WKMG. ""

While the protesting group didn't get everything they wanted, they seem to be satisfied.

“We stood up for what we wanted and believed in, in a positive way and it resulted in changes,” Cheryl Smith told WKMG.

In 2009, a study by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine was published in the journal Pediatrics. It found that about one in three of the children received fewer than 15 minutes of daily recess or none at all. Compared with children who receive regular recess, the children who were cooped up during the school day were more likely to be from public schools in the Northeast or South. They also were more likely to be black, from low-income and less-educated families and live in large cities.

The study found that children who received at least 15 minutes of daily recess scored better than those who didn’t get recess when being rated by teachers.