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To Stop Kids from Bullying, School Replaces Recess with Poetry Reciting

“I think this school is making a mistake,” tweeted Jonathan Haidt, co-author of “The Coddling of the American Mind.”

What school?

The Hackney New School in London that I write about over at Let Grow. (Click here to read.)

“A school without bullying sounds like a utopia, but it is achievable,” Hackney’s head of school announced. But the way she eliminated bullying was by replacing recess with geography quizzes and poetry recitations. “We want every second at school to count.”

I’m sure the kids are counting the seconds, too.

As Haidt, a co-founder of Let Grow, put it in his Tweet: “Perhaps they have eliminated bullying by eliminating unsupervised play, but they are likely going to produce more fragile graduates. Would be great to compare outcomes to schools that increase play.”

Sure would!


Photo by Tony Tran on Unsplash

5 Responses to To Stop Kids from Bullying, School Replaces Recess with Poetry Reciting

  1. ClemenceDane April 5, 2021 at 2:37 pm #

    Terrible. Kids not only need to exercise to burn off excess energy and fidgetiness in order to be able to sit still and asborb learning, but they need a mental break for their brans to assimilate what they have been listening to all morning. I can’t imagine anything more wrong-head. And of course, not to mention the fragility Jonathan Haidt describes that comes from not being left to themselves to negotiate with each other and learn to manage conflict, competition, and active relationships without a teacher dictating their behavior. I am worried what kind of society we are going to end up with when these kids become adults.

  2. ClemenceDane April 5, 2021 at 2:38 pm #

    *brains. *wrong-headed.

  3. Donald April 6, 2021 at 1:04 am #

    One of the reason why people bully is to shoot off steam. In other words, they relieve pressure. I think that it’s a mistake to add more pressure to the children by reducing their time for unstructured play.

  4. Emily April 6, 2021 at 4:38 pm #

    Yeah, this is dumb. I wasn’t much for playing outside at recess, because I was introverted, unathletic, and often a target for bullying, but I needed a break from interaction during recess times. So, I suspect that this new policy is making a lot of kids who are like that miserable, even though it’s meant to protect them.

  5. Emily April 6, 2021 at 5:00 pm #

    Also, how are they able to run a choir during the pandemic? I was in a choir before it started, but we haven’t been able to rehearse for over a year.