Reinventing recess: Schools try to play it safe

By KARIN SHAW ANDERSON / The Dallas Morning News

School recess isn't what it used to be. But it may be safer.

The playground games and equipment that many parents fondly remember are disappearing. Some schools have shortened recess in the name of academics and banned activities such as tag, Red Rover and king of the mountain as too dangerous.

Teeter-totters and merry-go-rounds are a thing of the past, too. School officials say they're acting in the interest of safety. But critics say the concerns are overblown – and even damaging to children.

Jonathan Purcell, a first-grader at Vaughan Elementary School in Allen, isn't thinking about grown-up stuff. All he wants to do is get a new life out on the playground.

More on The new recess: Properly protective or cautious to a fault?