TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) —The recess moms are speaking out as one bill in front of the Florida Senate aims to change the wording in the current recess law.
Florida Public Elementary Schools currently require 20 consecutive minutes of daily recess.
Stephanie Cox calls herself a “recess mom.”
“I got involved back when my son was in kindergarten and now he’s in high school,” said Cox.
She said her son wasn’t getting recess at his elementary school in Pinellas County, so she and other moms crafted the recess bill. It became law in 2017.
“It guaranteed students the right to 20 minutes a day of unstructured free play time in elementary schools K-5,” she said.
Cox now fears all the progress the recess moms have made could be eliminated. That’s because a bill would change that law by requiring schools to offer 100 minutes of free play per week instead of 20 consecutive minutes per day.
“You still have to meet the 100 hours a week, but it’s up to the district to determine how those 100 minutes will be played out,” said Sen. Corey Simon, Committee Chair.
The proposal went before the Senate pre-K-12 Education Committee Wednesday afternoon. Committee chair, Sen. Simon, said he would still encourage districts to maintain the 20 consecutive minutes per day.
“But what I looked at is an opportunity for you all to be closer to the problem and you all to have a voice in your own communities and having these conversations with your superintendent and your school board,” he said.
Ultimately the recess moms don’t want to see this change.
“We’re afraid that it will lead to five-minute brain breaks instead of 20 minutes of kids being able to have unstructured play,” she said.
If passed, the bill would go into effect on July 1, 2024.