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There isn’t one single reason as to why recess has been eliminated from many schools by their local school boards; there are a combination of factors of which have catalysed this motion. The most influential being a concern for safety and adequate supervision during the children’s recess periods. Some parents and administrators have felt that letting kids roam free for even 20 minutes during the school day is a safety hazard for the child. They fear that the child could get lost, or injure themselves from the unstructured and guiding free environment. This is the reason why many schools have banned ‘dangerous’ games and activities, which further constricts what the child can and cannot do. Additionally parents also express concerns for the number of staff, meaning teachers or aids, available to supervise their children. Every parent wants their child to be the center of attention, and many carry with them the fear of their child being forgotten or ignored if something were to happen. More often than not the issue rises to a greater level in the schools which lack an excess of funding to be able to hire extra aids in order to fill the teacher to student ratio requirement; most frequently the urban schools which lack much of the property taxes that fund rural schools. Additionally the past few decades have seen a larger push for academic success within our schools. States have pushed for schools to educate children where it ‘matters,’ forcing the children to “sit still and be quiet” (Adams, Caralee). We can link this trend to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. It was created with the aims to even the playing field for disadvantaged students, but it instead lead to many controversial reactions and effects. Schools were required to test the students annually, and were required to show progress and success both as a whole district and on the individual student level. Those who failed to meet the act’s requirements were penalized; meaning the school could be shut down or the leadership team within the school could be changed entirely. (Lee, Andrew) The constant pressure to succeed in the classroom lead many schools to restrict recess for the children, and increase the amount of classroom focused time. It is unfortunate to see that when recess is concerned, the hazards outweigh the countless advantages which can be brought unto the child’s mind and body.


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