Parents try to Mandate Recess after Playtime Cut at Elementary Schools

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As schools across the country prepare for national and state testing, there is a debate waging over time spent outside the classroom: recess.

In Orange County, Florida, 23 elementary schools in the district have decided not to have any form of recess. According to WESH, there is no district policy about the amount of time, if any, spent at play during the school day.

Parents became upset, and as their children reportedly came home day after day, tired of sitting in a desk all day, they have shared their opinions online, and in petitions.

School officials argue there are state mandates requiring 150 minutes of English, 60 minutes of math and 120 minutes of science each week, among others.

“The real issue is trying to mandate a consistent period of recess for an instructional schedule that is already quite demanding,” Orange County Public School Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenskins said.

During a recent school board meeting, parents presented them with a petition seeking a minimum 20 minutes of recess each school day.

Read more about this ongoing debate on

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