Pacific Jewish Center | Rabbi

The Rabbi on the Beach @ The Shul on the Beach

Recess + Litigation = Big Problem

“Oh I can be quite litigious” Cosmo Kramer

As Law Student I read about 25-30 cases per week. All of the cases I read this year are lawsuits. Whether they deal with torts and damages, contract disputes or property issues “A” is always suing “B”. The lawsuit is the basis of the American Legal system. It allows any victim of a social or financial injustice to seek and recover damages for harms suffered. There is a downside however.

In Broward County Florida there is no running during recess. The county is ever fearful of increased law suits aiming to recover damages for injuries sustained by children during recess. 189 suits were settled in the past 5 years in Broward County. So now during recess children can play with their PSP or Nintendo DS. No one gets hurt, no on gets sued. Is this a good thing? (no, not for the lawyers…for them it is good!)

Obesity is one of the greatest preventable health risks facing our society today. Now children cannot even get cardio exercises during recess! I don’t think this is going to help too much. There is another social problem that arises from restricting children’s movement and not allowing them to get hurt. When children are so protected that they never feel any pain they are not prepared for the inevtiable disappointments and trials of life. Part of growing up is dealing with pain and disappointment on a child’s scale. Then as we mature we can use our experiences from dealing with problems as a child to help us as adults. Taking away opportunities for pain is actually taking away opportunities for growth.

I propose a Constitutional Right to Recess. Barring lawsuits except in cases of gross negligence or recklessness by the districts. We need our children to be strong and able to deal with adversity. Bubble wrapping them will cause more harm than good.

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One Response

  1. […] thought there were only 3 R’s¬†¬†reading, writing and arithmetic – the fourth R is recess. I blogged about recess once before. I am on the case again […]

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January 2009

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