Seattle parents to protest lack of sufficient lunch and recess time in school
Parent observations will show school district out of compliance with local and state policies
Students in Seattle Public Schools are coming home hungry and with full lunch boxes each day as a result of new cuts by the district to lunch and recess times, Seattle parents have discovered, with children participating in the Free & Reduced Meal program or who have disabilities suffering the most.
Parents and concerned community members from across Seattle will hold a rally at the Seattle Public Schools headquarters in SoDo on Wednesday afternoon at 4:00 pm before presenting their initial findings to the district’s board. They will demand the district take action to restore appropriate lunch and recess times.
WHERE: John Stanford Center, 2445 3rd Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98134 (parents will gather on the lawn at the corner of 3rd and Lander)
WHEN: Wednesday, November 5, 2014, at 4:00 pm
A group of concerned parents at Whittier Elementary School began organizing upon learning that their children's lunch and recess time was cut yet again for this school year. Parents also reported their own children were coming home hungry, with low blood sugar, and often had full lunchboxes due to a lack of time to finish their meals.
After launching a Facebook group, Lunch and Recess Matter, they heard from over 1,000 parents and community members across the region that children at other schools in the district were also being denied enough time to eat and play.
The American Association of Pediatrics recommends children have 20 minutes of seated lunchtime to eat their food. Seattle Public Schools’ lunch policy also requires children be given 20 minutes of seated lunchtime—with more time as needed for standing in line. Research that parents will present on Wednesday will show that many schools are not compliant with the policy.
Also, unlike other large districts such as Tacoma, Seattle Public Schools currently has no recess policy to protect minimum recess times. Research has uncovered that many Seattle schools do not offer enough recess each day to children in kindergarten through 5th grade.
Lunch and Recess Matter Facebook Group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/LunchMatters/
Facebook event invite for Wednesday’s school board meeting: http://www.facebook.com/events/1657599871132967/