The Dark Side of Recess

Have you ever wondered what really goes on at your child’s school during recess?

At my daughter’s private school, parent volunteers aid teachers in monitoring the 200 plus kids who run around on the outdoor playground like wild animals twice a day.

As a parent volunteer, I get to witness firsthand some of the shenanigans that take place during the students’ break from class. What’s more, I am also privy to the attention given to each child by adult supervisors when or if a problem rears its head on the playground. This gives me priceless peace of mind on the days when I am not recess mom.

Unfortunately, not all parents are able to experience the same assurance that their children are being properly cared for on school property.

Rahul Chandani’s parents are a perfect example of this.

The 6-year-old’s mom and dad recently made headlines when they filed a $200,000 lawsuit against teachers at their son’s suburban Chicago elementary school.

In the suit, Rahul’s parents Pritam and Priya allege their son was not adequately cared for when he fell on his school’s icy playground. According to court documents, teachers at Rahul’s Skokie school forced him to crawl back to his classroom with a broken leg and a concussion, and then failed to call an ambulance after the kindergartener slipped on a mound of snow and hit his head.

“His teacher told him, ‘You’re a big boy — I can’t carry you,’” Priya Chandani, told the Chicago Sun Times. “[The teacher] told him to walk back, but his leg was broken so he fell again and then had to crawl at least 200-300 feet back to the school building. If someone did that to me as an adult, I’d slap them.”

Instead, the parents decided to slap the school with a hefty lawsuit and they are using their 15 minutes of unwanted fame to warn other moms and dads to be proactive when it comes to protecting their children.

“This could have happened to any child,” Priya told the newspaper. “As soon as I saw him I knew something was wrong.”

The irate mom says her son’s accident happened on an icy area near the swings. Priya says she still doesn’t know why the students were instructed to walk across the slippery area by teachers.

“You can’t expect 6-year-olds to be careful in a place like that,” she said.

In addition to suffering a broken leg and a lump on his head “the size of a tennis ball,” the Chandani’s claim their son was “emotionally scarred” by the incident.

I’m sure his mom was emotionally scarred too. Priya says when she came to pick up her son at the end of the school day he was crawling down the hallway by himself.

Imagine having to witness that, and then knowing what your child had to endure for hours because no one bothered to render aid.

Do stories like the Chandani’s make you want to volunteer more at your child’s school?

Related Articles:

Recess Mom

Requesting a New Teacher

Trusting Your Child’s Teacher

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.