Culture

Schools Spend Tens of Thousands on Consultants to Make Recess ‘More Inclusive’

Hearing phrases like "you're out!" is hurting kids.

Two elementary schools in the Edina Public Schools district in Minnesota have spent $30,000 to hire “recess consultants” in order to make kids’ playtime “more inclusive.”

The two schools, Concord and Normandale Elementary, are receiving guidance from a firm called “Playworks” on how to avoid recess-time tragedies like a kid getting his feelings hurt, according to an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

One of the aims of the firm is to banish potentially traumatizing phrases such as “Hey, you’re out” and instead use “good job” or “nice try.” After all, ceaseless affirmation of their perfection is all that snowflakes this special deserve to hear.

Of course, just suggesting these kinds of changes wouldn’t be enough. That’s why Playworks also organizes recess-time activities, such as foursquare and jump rope, that are “overseen by adults and designed to reduce disciplinary problems while ensuring no children are left out,” according to the Star Tribune.

#share#A lot of parents — perhaps having hoped that their kids would be learning the skills they need to function in the real world during school — have said that they’re not happy about the adult-structured playtime. Still, Normandale Elementary principal Chris Holden has insisted that the program is a good thing for the kids, because fewer of them have been called to the principal’s office after recess since it’s started.

I don’t doubt that at all. After all, what with the constant correction and micromanaging of kids’ social interactions, Playworks effectively turns the playground into the principal’s office — which would definitely result in fewer reasons to go.

School officials say they are currently considering implementing the program district-wide.

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