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New law requires daily recess for all elementary students in Georgia

A new law requiring recess will go into effect starting next school year and applies to all...
A new law requiring recess will go into effect starting next school year and applies to all students, kindergarten through fifth grade.(FatCamera/Getty Images via Canva)
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 12:42 PM AKDT
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(Gray News) – Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a bill into law Monday afternoon that will make daily recess mandatory for all public elementary schools across the state.

The law will go into effect starting next school year and applies to all students, kindergarten through fifth grade. Previously, Georgia only required schools to offer recess once a week.

Under the new law, school employees will not be allowed to withhold recess from students for disciplinary or academic reasons. However, the law states recess will not be required on school days in which a student has gym class.

The bill, known as the Quality Basic Education Act, was authored by Rep. Demetrius Douglas, a democrat.

“It is time for our students to get moving and learn how to play with each other again,” Douglas said in a press release. “Before HB 1283 was signed into law, our state only required schools to offer recess once a week; however, many elementary school students spend the majority of their school day in one classroom, which limits their ability to make new friends and build social skills. Recess is a crucial part of a child’s learning experience, and this legislation ensures that elementary school students can have a chance to enjoy recess.”

Douglas said he is passionate about getting kids active because he was a defensive linebacker at the University of Georgia. According to his website, he then played football for the New York Jets, Washington Redskins (now the Washington Commanders), and the Calgary Stampeders.

According to the press release, Douglas has worked on this issue for several years.

“WE DID IT!!!” Douglas wrote in a Facebook post, following Kemp’s signing of the bill into law.

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