Letter to the Editor: Correcting a Columnist on School Recess Legislation


I want to correct several errors in Brian Mittge’s commentary about Senate Bill 5257 related to elementary school recess.

1. Rather than ignoring regional differences, this bill does the opposite. It directs school boards to have local community-level discussions about recess and set local policy.

2. This bill does not require kids to be outside in two feet of snow. It states that recess should be “held outside, whenever possible.”

3. It also does not forbid teachers from taking away recess as punishment, rather it “strongly discourages it.”

SB 5257 would set minimum standards for recess in Washington state, something many other states have done including Arkansas, Georgia, Arizona and Illinois. Kids need physical activity and child-directed breaks during the school day. This bill would protect students’ right to recess.

Linnea Westerlind,