The House Education Committee passed a proposal that would require public schools provide a 30 minute recess break to students. Currently schools must have 30 minutes of physical activity, which is covered in many districts by PE class.

Houma Representative and sponsor Beryl Amedee says recess is crucial to a child’s educational development.

“Brain scans have shown that kids learn better after a break from physical activity and unstructured play,” Amedee said.

But the legislation received opposition from the Louisiana Association of Principles, who raised concerns that it would cut back on classroom time. Executive Director Debra Schum says schools would struggle to accomplish this under current class time requirements.

“Either we have to have the Department of Education say, ’we can count this as instructional time,’ or we have to add to the day, and adding to the day would be a cost,” Schum said.

Schum says schools have other ways to get students active besides relying on recess.

“Many people do try to do things that create movement in the classroom. They use ‘brain breaks,’ they use movement, but to meet instructional requirement times, they have to do it in the classroom,” Schum said.

But Amedee says despite the difficulties that would come with requiring recess, it’s still a worthwhile endeavor.

“I think that most of us, at least those who are about my age, remember recess fondly. Some of us would say it was always our favorite subject in school,” Amedee said.