BERKELEY (KCBS) – The Berkeley Unified School District is asking for more details about how its “recess restriction” policy is working. Initial data finds children of color and those with special needs are the groups most often put on time-out.
As kids run around the playground here at Malcolm X elementary, on certain days, kids are put on recess restriction. It’s a tool for teachers to offer immediate consequence for bad behavior and as a way to work on social and emotional growth.
Recent data from Berkeley Unified finds the majority of those restricted from recess are second and third graders, 33 percent black and 26 percent special needs children.
One mother, who has a daughter with ADHD, told KCBS of her concerns about the policy.
“That seems like it would do more harm than good, and it would stigmatize the kids that could not control. And I think they need to discern who is intentionally acting out versus who cannot help it,” she said.
Berkeley School Board director Karen Hemphill said the board is awaiting a report with more details on the recess restriction policy, which would include data on parent notification and the length and frequency of restrictions.