Atlanta teachers may not be allowed to take away recess for disciplinary reasons

Tuesday, 10 October 2017, 05:05:36 PM. School board to consider changing policy that allows teachers to withhold recess for discipline reasons

Teachers could no longer take away recess from a student for disciplinary or academic reasons under a proposed policy shift the Atlanta Board of Education will consider Monday.

An existing Atlanta Public Schools policy, last revised in 2013, states that “breaks may be withheld” for those reasons. 

The proposed changes appear in two policies related to instructional scheduling and school nutrition and wellness programs. 

The suggested revision states that breaks “may not” be withheld for academic and disciplinary reasons. 

The recommended changes don’t modify some of the other policy language related to recess.

The suggested policy maintains existing language that states the board “allows a 15-minute unstructured break for students in kindergarten and grades one through five on school days when a physical education class is not scheduled. Unstructured breaks are not permitted for students in grades six through eight.”

The board will consider the first reading of the suggested changes when they meet at 6 p.m. Monday. A final vote would take place at a later board meeting. 

Atlanta’s policy has been a topic of conversation for more than a year, when recess advocates -- including a then second-grader at Parkside Elementary School -- asked the board to expand recess.

Earlier this year, a legislative effort to mandate recess in Georgia schools failed.

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