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New Georgia law requires recess, but has several exceptions

ATLANTA — A new Georgia law requires daily recess for most elementary students, but doesn't say how long recess should last and includes some exceptions.

Gov. Brian Kemp signed the law, which covers students through fifth grade, on Monday, news outlets reported.

"It is time for our students to get moving and learn how to play with each other again," state Rep. Demetrius Douglas, the Stockbridge Democrat and former Georgia football player who sponsored the bill, told WSB-TV.

Younger students spend all day in one room, since they don't move from class to class as middle and high school students do, he told news outlets.

Recess can be waived on days when students have physical education or other "structured activity time," such as games led by a teacher, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported. It also can be skipped for scheduling conflicts, bad weather, field trips or other unavoidable obstacles.

Three years ago, Kemp vetoed a bill that urged schools to provide an average of 30 minutes of recess per day.

Douglas told WAGA-TV that he took a 30-minute requirement out of the new law after meeting with members of the governor's staff.

"Did I have to compromise? Yes. But is it a start? Absolutely, and I'm thrilled with just a start," he said.

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