Support HB 3770 for Unstructured Mandatory Recess In Texas Elementary Schools
  • Petitioned State Rep. Steve Toth

This petition was delivered to:

State Rep. Steve Toth

Support HB 3770 for Unstructured Mandatory Recess In Texas Elementary Schools

    1. corrie meyer
    2. Petition by

      corrie meyer

      mesquite, TX


Thank you so much to everyone giving your support for mandatory recess in Texas. I have great news. Thanks to Rep. Cindy Burkett (HD-101), a bill, HB 3770, has been written and filed for mandatory recess. Not only that, but Rep. Eddie Lucio III (HD-38) has signed on as a joint-author! Keep spreading the word about recess in Texas! The billl is in committee now...we can't let it die there like the previous ones.

{Recess} a general term for a period of time in which a group of people is temporarily dismissed from its duties. In parlimentary prodecure, a recess is initiated by a motion of recess.*

Unfortunately, in Texas schools (along with a vast amount of schools across the country), the definition of recess is also accompanied with the terms "optional", "waste of valuable learning time", "unnecessary mandate", "dangerous" and "expensive".

In 2008, a bill was filed with the Texas House that required 20 minutes of daily unstructured recess for elementary public schools in Texas. The bill, HB159, was authored by Rep. Joe Deshotel (HD-22). It was never put to a vote. Actually, it never made it out of committee and has since been retired. According to a news story on WFAA:

Rep. Rob Eissler, powerful chairman of the House Education Committee, says he understands the benefits of recess but isn't ready to support another state mandate. "We try to leave the discretion to the people running the schools who are the people closest to the kids," he said. The bill is stuck in Eissler's committee.

If leaving discretion to the people closest to our kids is best...then it may be time to take a step back and consider that the people closest are the parents. It is not the people running the schools.

A mandate supporting unstructured recess for children is anything but "another mandate". The policy-makers-that-be are not the ones affected by the lack of recess. It is the kids. My kid. Your kid. The kid you hope to have one day. The kid that you will eventually employee at your business. They are the ones that have to sit seven hours a day in an over-crowded classroom. They must be able to stay engaged amongst students with different education levels and behavior patterns. They are the ones that have to digest, then retain, brand new information on a daily basis. They are the ones that eat the school lunches, breakfasts, and now, dinners loaded with additives that cause hyperactivity. They are the ones that have to complete homework in the evening. They are the ones expected to pass a standardized test in a non-standardized system. A failing test means their school will lose funding, their teacher's job will be on the line and their school district will receive a lower rating. 

The pressure for our children is immense...and they are being set up for failure.

Currently, the system in place, is neglecting key elements to make our children's education successful: health and social development. The most expensive, well-researched and highest rated curriculum on the market cannot teach this. Kids have to learn this on their own. There is an obvious reason why children do not bring home "social development" homework.

As parents, we are expected to take the reins on our children's health. We are told that allowing our children to sit in front of televisions, computers and video games fosters a sedentary lifestyle for our kids. We are told once they become teens, they would rather socialize through texts, email, and other social media outlets. We are bombarded with school flyers, newsletters, media articles, television documentaries and public service announcements with jaw-dropping statistics and research about the importance of getting our kids moving. As a parent, I agree with all of this.

On the same token, how is having a child sit in a classroom for hours without any means to socially interact in person any different?

Join me in asking the State of Texas to give our kids 20 minutes.


** watch the news story from 2009 here:

Recent signatures


    1. corrie meyer
      Petition Organizer

      We only have two weeks left...and this bill dies in committee. It's crunch time!

      The Michael and Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, Partnership for a Healthy Texas, and Texans Care for Children have added this bill to their priority list. The bill has gotten attention from the Dallas Morning News, The Austin Statesman, and The Houston Chronicle. Yet, despite the hundreds of calls, emails, and faxes sent, Representative Rob Eissler, the public education committee chair, is still not granting a public hearing for this bill. We have to keep this issue in the forefront. We have people ready and waiting to testify...but they can't.

      A national non-profit, Healthy Schools Campaign has graciously created an amazing and informative take action website for the bill.

      I am asking that you use this website to send even MORE letters.

      You can send the one that has been pre-written, or delete the space and write your own. You can then use the "tell a friend" option to spread the word.

      We have to keep the pressure on them. They are already condsidering allowing schools to opt into a 4-day (8.5 hours) school week and repealing co-ordinated school health (the P.E.programs). Larger classes are already unavoidable...we can't let schools have longer days and not have a simple recess for our kids.

      It just takes a few seconds...please, please please do this and pass it on!

      And just for good measure: Call Eissler and the public education committee's clerk! Tell them we want a hearing!

    2. Reached 250 signatures
    3. corrie meyer
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you so much to everyone giving your support for mandatory recess in Texas. I have great news. Thanks to Rep. Cindy Burkett (HD-101), a bill, HB 3770, has been written and filed for mandatory recess. Not only that, but Rep. Eddie Lucio III (HD-38) has signed on as a joint-author! Keep spreading the word about recess in Texas!

    4. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Lauren Ocello CHICAGO, IL
      • over 3 years ago

      While I don't live in Texas currently, I did spend my first 5 years there. It is an awful shame that children don't get even 20 minutes of recess. I look back fondly of childhood recess times (both indoor and outdoor). It's a time to be social, be active and take a mental break. Children are only children for so long. They have the rest of their lives to be stuck behind a desk for 8+ hours a day. Let them play!

    • Amy Perez SAGINAW, TX
      • over 3 years ago

      How about a MINIMUM of 30 minutes per day of recess? Standardized testing is out of control. Recess has been sacrificed on the altar of TAKS. Something needs to change. No wonder kids are fat and have behavior problems--they are trapped inside a classroom all day with no breaks. On TAKS day, they get NO recess at all.

    • Joan Guerin Lavis EL PASO, TX
      • over 3 years ago

      Research proves RECESS improves learning!!!! We need to speak for the littleone's that will one day be us ... tasked with making decisions for the next generation. We need a healthy commuity and it starts with RECESS at school. Thank you!

      Joan F. Guerin Lavis

    • Thomas Carter WHEELER, TX
      • over 3 years ago

      As a pastor who comes in contact with children on a regular basis in church as well as on school campuses, it is vital that children be given ample opportunity for physical exercise as well as social interaction with other children. Twenty (20) minutes is not too much, in fact it is in my estimation too little. Thirty (30) minutes is more appropriate as a minimum.

    • Christine Sinatra AUSTIN, TX
      • over 3 years ago

      Rep. Eissler,

      Please understand the importance of the bill to parents and families. Young children need recess, and do better at learning in countries that have it. Parents understand this, and school administrators who do not are failing to meet the needs of children. Please give HB 3770, the recess bill, a hearing!


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