Some parents who have children that attend P.S. 104 (9115 5th Avenue) are raising concerns about the school staff’s practices during recess and lunchtime, according to a report by Denise Romano of The Home Reporter.
The report quotes a few parents, including “Ivonne,” a PTA member with four children at the school school, saying that children are not allowed to actually play during recess:
“They not only make them stand in straight lines,” she went on. “They treat them in a way that makes the children either very afraid or shuts them down completely, where they don’t talk or eat.”
Video footage obtained by Ivonne does not include the cafeteria, but shows a teacher lining students up in the schoolyard for recess. “Everybody get in line,” she says to the children, who are already relatively quiet and in a straight line. “There is no talking. Face the front.”
In another snippet, a student pleads with a teacher, “But I wasn’t talking,” and the teacher snaps back, “Shut up, I don’t care.”
Another parent told Romano, “It’s not right, my kids complain – they say, ‘I don’t know why they make us go outside to stand and not play.’”
A Department of Education spokesperson said that the issue was a result of a “miscommunication,” and that the children were not forced to do anything. (Or put another way: “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for. Move along.”)
Hey readers, what do you think? Do you think this is a big deal over nothing? Or do you think the school is fostering an adversarial atmosphere with its students and their parents? Do you buy the DOE’s explanation?