Administrators believe that high schools can’t make time for recess, but some students and teachers believe it’s better for students


Credit: Krystal Perez-Castro

(Left side)Seniors Sophie Grover, Amelia Grover, Wolfgang Madonia who is playing the guitar, Sean Mcflinton, and junior Stan Thomas are talking to their friends. (Right side) Seniors Eden Holm-Griffs and Ressah Link are enjoying their time during their 30-minute lunch break at the senior court yard. “It’s more peaceful out here. I just like the fresh air after I have been stuck in school for a long time. It’s nice to decompress,” said Holm-Griffs.

Remember the time when we would go to recess and get a break from all our core classes to be able to breathe. Once we transitioned from elementary to middle and then high school, that all changed. 

No more recess and no more breaks. It’s all non-stop, 60-70 minute classes without a breather to take. At Loy Norrix, you only have five minutes to get from one class to the next, and this includes time needed to use the restroom.

The state of Michigan recommends a recess for students, but schools are not obligated to give it, according to the Detroit Chalkbeat.

Junior Hannah Zmick-Furno said that she would take a walk if recess was allowed. 

“I would love it!” said Zmick-Furno.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recess would help students come to class better able to concentrate and listen. A recess break could also reduce disruptive behavior. Recess can help jog students’ memory. 

History teacher Lewis Ezekiel thinks recess is a chance for students to release pent-up energy and get their blood pumping. 

“Maybe they’d be more focused in the later classes,” said Ezekiel. 

Most importantly, an article, There Is No Choice About Letting Kids Go To Recess In School, states that “there are studies shown in the most successful education systems like Finland and Japan that incorporate break times because it helps students focus during structured times.”

On the other hand, Assistant Principal AJ Muysenberg explained that students only have the 30 minutes of lunch available, so adding time to that would make offering recess impossible. 

“The thirty minutes would be taken up from lunch,” Muysenburg said. 

Additional minutes for a recess would only be available during student lunch time..To extend that time to add a recess would add time to the school day. For example, school starts at 7:33 a.m. and ends at 2:20 p.m.

“Nobody would like to stay longer [in school],” Muysenberg said.

 Senior Wendy Meidema believes that the time given for lunch is appropriate. She also states how she would take the extra twenty minutes to do her homework and have a break between classes.

 “I love the sun and the air. I sit and talk to my friends, which is a good mental break in between classes. I would grind on my homework,”  Meidema said.

The King County Green Schools Program  reports that Arundel High School in Maryland extended their lunch time to a 50-minute break to give students a chance to socialize and get their work done. The students have been grateful for giving them a chance to catch up with friends and get help with teachers. The principal has seen a big change in grades and less stress.

“I feel like I need time to catch up. I could use that time and talk with my friends and eat my lunch,” said Holm-Griffs.

Ezekiel thinks if students attended every class in a week or had excused absences, they could be allowed a recess break. 

However, it’s the students who miss a lot of school that may need recess the most.

On the other hand, Ezekiel believes that the conflicts that happen during recess would later be brought into class as a distraction.

“My one concern and I have seen it [conflicts] happen. It [conflicts] move into class and hurts feelings,” Ezekiel would not want these conflicts to be brought in class because it distracts the classroom environment. 

The King County Greens Program stated that lunchtime is a time to de-stress, relax, breathe and slow-down from their morning classes. Research has shown that breaks allow the brain to boost students’ motivation and improve students’ moods.

“It would help me relax and be more active,” said junior Celeste Perez-Castro.