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Rochester City School District (RCSD), in Rochester, N.Y. (16.4% Latino), added a clause to their new Student Behavior Resource Manual that bans recess being taken away from a student as a form of punishment. It states in the manual, “the elimination of recess should not be considered a viable disciplinary response as research does not support this action.”
In 2014, Rochester parents voiced concerns to Healthi Kids about recess being taken away from their children as a form of discipline. Healthi Kids works with the RCSD to ensure children have safe routes to school, nutritious food, and access to 20 minutes of recess every day.
Healthi Kids collected parental input, research, and best practices to inform the RSCD team in charge of discipline policy to advocate for a change to ban withholding recess as a form of punishment.
“A district wide solution provides an equal opportunity to all students to have the time for play during the school day,” Healthi Kids reported on their blog.
In early 2015, RCSD agreed and changed their policy.
It is important for district level policies to ensure all students have equal access to time to be physically active during the school day, especially for low-income, minority, and urban kids, who typically lack access to safe physical activity opportunities.
To learn more about this policy to ban withholding recess, click here.
Read Physical Activity is Not a Discipline Tool: The Case for Recess here.