At this age, when I hear the word "recess", I don't always think of the kids being outside playing and running around. I think of simply time away from the classroom. So, yes, I do think students in middle school have a "recess" or possibly a "free period", besides a quick half hour lunch.
There's no point in making life all misery and drudgery, and even low paid office workers get at least a half an hour for lunch every day. Kids need an outlet during their day, a break from studies and discipline to blow off some of that steam, that kid energy, so they can refocus and get back into the classroom.