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Has your child's school banned hugging?

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School Bans Hugging & the Decline of Civilization Continues

by Michele Zipp

hugsWhen discussing what's wrong with the world today, we can start by looking at what's happening in schools and with children. There is bullying that seems far worse than anything happening 20 years ago. There is violence of children against children -- Sandy Hook and Columbine just to name two. There are teachers who do inappropriate things. I could go on and on. And so as a result of this, a school has banned hugging. At St. Mary’s County public elementary schools in Maryland, parents can hug their own child, but they cannot hug or touch any other child.

What's sad is everything that is wrong with the world today forces us to make these kinds of rules. And these are the kind of rules that are somewhat dehumanizing. We could become emotionless and rigid. We could end up fearing socialization.

A panel of parents and teachers came up with this rule after a series of meetings. It's not just the hugging that is banned. Kids at St. Mary's County schools cannot hand out party invitations at school in fear those not invited would feel bad. Any food brought in by parents cannot be home-baked and instead must be store-bought with an ingredient list (due to allergies). Parents cannot discipline other people's kids (a rule I very much approve of). They also instated the rule that parents can't walk with their child when he or she leaves the cafeteria and they cannot approach teachers for a meeting in person -- it should be planned. Siblings are not allowed to visit and parents cannot walk with their child when leaving the cafeteria. Anyone visiting the school must check in with the front desk and have their photo taken.

Some of these make sense for safety. Some may be a result of issues the school had. And a lot has to do with what our society has become. These rules were decided upon prior to the Sandy Hook shootings, but because of it, they decided to roll them out sooner. "Everybody’s anxiety is high," Kelly Hall, executive director of elementary schools, told Southern Maryland Newspapers Online.

But I just can't help but think about the hugging. What comes to my mind is that perhaps they fear inappropriate hugs from other parents, which is hopefully a very rare thing. This rule also extends to any kind of touching, so even a high-five would be prohibited. It seems like we make this kind of rule because of a small minority of the population and then everyone has to change to prevent some sort of issue that probably won't happen. I also think a hugging ban isn't going to prevent someone from doing something sinister ... if that's what this is about. Evil doesn't follow rules.

If this rule was in place at my kids' school, we'd have an issue. My daughter hugs everyone -- other moms, other kids, her teachers. Some of the moms we've had playdates with, but she has hugged moms who we've only so far seen at pick-up and drop-off. In this case, it's not one of the parents who initiates the hug, it's the child. What happens then? What kind of action comes when someone breaks this rule? What should a parent do if another child initiates a hug?

Maybe we've gone too far. Maybe we're too worried about too many things. But when we live in a world like we live in and what it's become, I guess we have to be.

What do you think of a no hugging rule? Do you think this school district went too far?

by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 1:13 PM
Replies (61-70):
inkedmomma10
by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 11:59 PM
I live in the next county over and I had no idea that was going on over in St.Marys..and it's actual a kind of old fashioned county with little trouble that I'm aware of so that's kind of shocking. My kids aren't school age yet though so..


Quoting Cafe AmyS:

School Bans Hugging & the Decline of Civilization
Continues

by Michele
Zipp



hugsWhen discussing what's wrong with the world today, we can
start by looking at what's happening in schools and with children. There is
bullying that seems far worse than anything happening 20 years ago. There is
violence of children against children -- Sandy Hook and Columbine just to name two. There are teachers who do inappropriate things. I could go on and on.
And so as a result of this, a school has banned hugging. At St. Mary’s
County public elementary schools in Maryland
, parents can hug their own
child, but they cannot hug or touch any other child.


What's sad is everything that is wrong with the world today forces us to make
these kinds of rules. And these are the kind of rules that are somewhat
dehumanizing. We could become emotionless and rigid. We could end up fearing
socialization.


A panel of parents and teachers came up with this rule after a series of
meetings. It's not just the hugging that is banned. Kids at St. Mary's
County schools cannot hand out party invitations at school in fear those not
invited would feel bad.
Any food brought in by parents cannot be
home-baked and instead must be store-bought with an ingredient list (due to
allergies). Parents cannot discipline other people's kids (a rule I very much approve of). They also instated the rule that
parents can't walk with their child when he or she leaves the cafeteria and they
cannot approach teachers for a meeting in person -- it should be planned.
Siblings are not allowed to visit and parents cannot walk with their child when
leaving the cafeteria. Anyone visiting the school must check in with the front
desk and have their photo taken.


Some of these make sense for safety. Some may be a result of issues the
school had. And a lot has to do with what our society has become. These rules
were decided upon prior to the Sandy Hook shootings, but because of it, they
decided to roll them out sooner. "Everybody’s anxiety is high," Kelly Hall,
executive director of elementary schools, told Southern Maryland Newspapers Online.


But I just can't help but think about the hugging. What comes to my mind is
that perhaps they fear inappropriate hugs from other parents, which is hopefully
a very rare thing. This rule also extends to any kind of touching, so
even a high-five would be prohibited.
It seems like we make this kind
of rule because of a small minority of the population and then everyone has to
change to prevent some sort of issue that probably won't happen. I also think a
hugging ban isn't going to prevent someone from doing something sinister ... if
that's what this is about. Evil doesn't follow rules.


If this rule was in place at my kids' school, we'd have an issue. My daughter
hugs everyone -- other moms, other kids, her teachers. Some of the moms we've
had playdates with, but she has hugged moms who we've only so far seen at
pick-up and drop-off. In this case, it's not one of the parents who initiates
the hug, it's the child. What happens then? What kind of action comes when
someone breaks this rule? What should a parent do if another child
initiates a hug?


Maybe we've gone too far. Maybe we're too worried about too many things. But
when we live in a world like we live in and what it's become, I guess we have to
be.


What do you think of a no hugging rule? Do you think this school
district went too far?


Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Oceana09
by on Mar. 21, 2013 at 12:01 AM

I get the no unapproved guest and I get the allergy thing and the no disciplining other peoples children. HOWEVER, this is the reason kids get out into the real world and expect everyone to say what they want to hear...because they were sheltered from things that may or may not have hurt their feelings while in school. Yep, we're doing our kids such a great service ""put eye roll here**

inkedmomma10
by on Mar. 21, 2013 at 12:06 AM
I live in Charles County and I hadn't heard anything about this is either? Maybe it's just a certain school or one of the private schools..weird.


Quoting becky.riley:

I live in St. Mary's County MD. They are not banning hugging. You are allowed to bring younger children when you have lunch with your child and you are also allowed to bring homemade treats. Yes you have to sign in at the office and the computer takes your picture and you have to wear a visitor's name tag. I am not sure where this story came from, but I did receive a call from the superintendant saying that the supposed bans are not true.


Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Schauseil
by on Mar. 21, 2013 at 12:07 AM
This is crap. Society has become more automated and less personal, less humane. And its causing seriouse problems. So to solve them we distance people more and further degrade their humanity? People are insane.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
inkedmomma10
by on Mar. 21, 2013 at 12:08 AM
Troll


Quoting 6missy:

I think all schools should ban hugs even parents can not hug their kids or other kids and it will stop a lot problems


Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Sweet_Carol_126
by on Mar. 21, 2013 at 12:17 AM

I think no hugging rule is too much.  However, we do have to be careful and need to ask before giving a hug.  Many kids need a hug and a teacher should be able to say, "Do you need a hug?" and to give it.    They expell a kid who kisses, even a 1st grader.  My teacher told me we didn't kiss each other and I didn't kiss again, but I did once in 1st grade as I liked the little boy who was in my reading class group.

 

momfirst13
by on Mar. 21, 2013 at 12:17 AM

It's funny I came across this, and I have to say something positive on this note about hugging in school. My son Jarret is five years old and he goes to a private Christian school.  My son is such a sweetheart, and he is so smart. He is just a very polite lovable little guy, and I was scared to death when it came time to leave preschool and head to Kindergarten in a public school. I guess I was afraid it would change him, and not for the better. I found Heritage and it was the best decision I could of made for him. His teacher is so wonderful. They get a big smile and a hug as soon as they hit the classroom in the morning. To me that sets the mood for the kids. Their is only 11 students in his class so they get more personal attention. These kids are so laid back, and they are all close friends, even outside of school. They are five year olds and they have more respect and love to offer than I have seen in some adults. And yes I believe when they feel loved like that  it truly makes a difference. Especially at this age, I think they still need that affection and attention. They get all this and all in a place where not only is it Okay to speak of the good Lord, but it is part of their curriculam.  I agree their is just too much bad going on in our schools, and a lot of it is warranted to have to make changes due to circustances. On the other hand I think some things they take away are just a bit exaggerated. I know their is a lot of great public schools out there, this is just my experience with the public school system here where I live. My kids ( I have five kids) have always went to a public school till our military move here. I hate that I had to take them from such a great school, but their wasn't much choice. Unfortunately things run different here, and you don't get much of a choice where your child attends because it's such a small area. The way kids talk to each other here, and detectors at schools, fights you name it. It's just new to us. And it's like the teachers just don't have that passion for teaching these kids anymore, or even care much how these kids turn out. I think there just happy to get through the day, and I can't always blame them. Not if you see some of these kids with such attitudes and disrepect. It's sad really. I feel blessed to have Jarret at the school he attends and I hope it puts him on the right path. So I think it's a great thing that when a child is having a bad day, or got a little boo boo at school, that it's still Okay to get a hug and some comfort, even when away from home. I say my thank yous every day for such a wonderful place that still runs things the way it should be run, and focusing on the needs of the children they are put in charge of to take care of, instead of what every other school is implementing because of what could happen and fear that is instilled to us parents if changes aren't made.

HeatherGandJ
by New Member on Mar. 21, 2013 at 1:35 AM
1 mom liked this

Human beings need physical touch at all ages, babies, children, tweens, teens, adults....  by forbidding children from giving each other hugs and other appropriate signs of friendship and connection, especially during teh tween and teen years, is setting kids up for being more vulnerable to victimization.  Because they are unable to have normal, appropriate friend or mentor contact in teh form of high 5's, pats on the back and hugs, their biological need for physical contact could lead them to impulsively seek it out in other ways.  Creating children who crave touch, and who know they have to hide it, making them perfect victims.  Sure, the rules about kissing and the "dating" hand holding things, make sense, and definitely the safety of having people come in and out through the office, so you know who is in the building and such.  But somehow, as the general culture of the world becomes more open and aware of the needs of human connection, and honoring human needs in the workplace, the weirder schools get about dehumanizing children and the adults that work with them. 

megan91
by New Member on Mar. 21, 2013 at 3:38 AM
I say that its bullshit! Why would you not let children hug? That just promotes bullying is my opinion because hugging is suppose to be a sign of innocent affection! Do you want children to be affraid of affection at such a young age? That could cause emotional or mental problems in their future...
bhwrn1
by on Mar. 21, 2013 at 5:41 AM

It has not, but I have heard about this. So dumb.

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