"You cannot take away recess!"

"..School leaders [should] understand the benefit of physical activity, not just because it is a core..that is a right for students, but also the benefit of overall student learning."

- Ms. Lori Rose Benson,Director of the Office of Fitness and Health Education New York City Department of Education.


Richard Simmons testifies before the U.S. Education and Labor Committee on the Fit Kids Act. According to Tim Brown, former Oakland Raiders, even the jocks are no longer in shape!

For transcripts of witness testimony and/or the webcast of the 2 hour hearing with Q & A go to:
U.S. House Committee on Labor and Education

U.S. Rep. Castle addressing Richard Simmons:

".. A lot of it [testimony] revolves around P.E. classes in school, organized classes outside, whatever it may be and yet, it occurs to me that all of that is not going to happen right away, you can't just snap your fingers and get changes made in that way. So, my question is, are there recommendations that you have in terms of what kids can do now, of what teachers and parents can urge their kids to do now with respect to their physical program. Some things like walking to school, riding bikes, whatever it may be,…or are there other 15 minute type programs, or anything that we can recommend that could be done now assuming that the kids are willing to do it?

Richard Simmons: "Well, I applaud all teachers who do not have it in the curriculum now who do teach fitness. They'll put a video on, they'll get the kids up, they get them moving, [but]….we can't overuse our children. We can't extend the day. We have to find the time that they're in school, .. time to implement P.E. Does 15 minutes do a lot? Well,..it does a little bit, but it doesn't do a whole lot.

..15 minutes is a Band-Aid until we can get all the schools, the public schools in the United States to rejoice and be jubilant about getting our kids healthy! ….Bring the parents into the schools, have something at night or on the weekend for them to go to to be educated…It's going to take all of you, Congress, Senators, the president to pass the Fit Kids bill, so we can put this in production and get our kids healthier. Fifteen minutes will not lower their cholesterol, fifteen minutes will not take away their stress or depression, fifteen minutes will not make you fit…it's a beginning

Simmons in response to U.S. Rep. Payne's inquiry about parent responsibility: "I think they're are a lot of neighborhoods where kids cannot go outside and play anymore. I think there are a lot of nuts out there and taking our children and there are a lot of parents that are very afraid. There's not enough parks around or recreational centers for them to go, and matter of fact they shouldn't go without their parents at a certain age and both parents are working. I really do believe it has to be in the curriculum of the school. I can go into any classroom and bring a boombox., put the music on and I guarantee you within ten seconds they're all moving and working out.
There isn't a lot of areas for these kids to go, that's why it has to be in the curriculum of the school.

"I don't think P.E. or recess should be taken away to punish a child"

"You cannot take away recess! Do you know how many parents write me with children who have ADHD and other problems and they are in the classroom all day long, and they're not even getting recess! This is very wrong."


Chairman George Miller's opening statement

Dr. Russel Pate's opening statement

U.S. Representative Ron Kind's opening statement

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License.