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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Sorry kids. No outdoor recess today.

That thick haze blanketing the region is smoke from forest fires to the north. And it's got school officials acting extra cautious for students' well-being. Justifiably so, as many adults have been complaining about how hard it is to breathe out there today. So imagine a kid with asthma.

The word from Hillsborough County is to "curtail" outdoor activities, including P.E. classes, for today. Pinellas also is recommending that schools keep everyone indoors. Hernando has sent out a warning to principals, but has taken no official position. Still, you won't find many children on the playground. "I don't know (that) we have to tell them to keep them in," spokesman Roy Gordon said, noting that ash is falling in the area.

Pasco is taking the issue a step further, requiring kids to stay inside for recess, P.E., lunch and other things they might usually do outside, if the weather was nice. A decision on after school sporting events will come later.

Such a move can prove chaotic, especially at the overcrowded schools as they coordinate lunch and gym classes in the same space. But it's pretty much like a rainy day, so they find a way to manage.

10:40 A.M. UPDATE: Hernando has told principals that all children should remain indoors for school activities.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:17am]


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