This morning I talked to the school's secretary (the principle was in a meeting.) She told me that they (parents and staff) instituted the morning walk-around as part of their push for nutrition and exercise. It was packaged as a very positive thing to encourage exercise in the morning.
She said that parents commonly go out and walk around with the kids. And if the kids prefer to sit down and talk with their friends, then that is fine; they are not forced to walk around. She also assured me that the kids have normal recess and lunch-recess time later in the day.
I expressed to her my concerns and made sure she understood that I homeschool and that weird stuff like this is one of the reasons. She was very nice and very helpful. She admitted that her kids have been homeschooled at times so she definitely understands where I was coming from.
When I was done talking to the school, I called the district office to give them an update of what was going on. So I let her know what the school's explanation was and told her that I understood the reasoning, but that I still disagreed with it.
I was told by the district that if I wanted to see a change discussed, then I would have to meet with the principle and PTA because this was a school-site decision. I told her that I homeschool and asked her honest opinion as to whether my concerns would hold any weight with the principle.
She said that because I don't have a child attending there, that my opinion would not be considered very important. But, as a member of the community, I should probably still express my concerns if I really feel that strongly about it.
In conclusion, I understand the school's reason for the morning walks. But I still think it is really odd and it still makes me a little sick in my heart and in my stomach. I will just chalk this up to the school's good intentions. They are doing the best they can with the resources they have. I happen to think they are doing it wrong, or at the least imperfectly. But at least they are trying something that they think is positive.
And ultimately, it is for the school's parents to decide how they feel about this program. If they feel it is a positive, healthy thing for their children, then great. But if they think it is bad, then I think it is up to them to take the steps to change it. They as parents are responsible for their own children. I am responsible for my children. Each of us need to take the steps to ensure the best education and enrichment for our own kids.