The Atlanta school board on Monday approved an updated recess policy that forbids teachers from taking away recess as a form of student discipline.
Photo: Kent D. Johnson/KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM
Photo: Kent D. Johnson/KDJOHNSON@AJC.COM

Atlanta schools change recess rules

Atlanta teachers can no longer ground a student from recess for disciplinary reasons.

The Atlanta Board of Education on Monday unanimously approved updates to a pair of policies that provide guidance on recess. Among the biggest changes is the district’s decision to forbid teachers from disciplining students by withholding recess. 

The final version of the approved policy also allows unstructured breaks for students in kindergarten through eighth grade and gives the principal the authority to determine the timing, duration, and location of recess at each school. The old policy did not permit breaks for students in grades six through eight. 

“I am happy you have thought about this because I have been waiting for two years for this moment. Thank you for making this happen because we need it,” said Pierce Mower, a fourth grader at Burgess-Peterson Academy, who was among the students and parents to ask the board for recess changes in 2016.