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What do you think of a no hugging rule in school?

Posted by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 2:04 PM
  • 10 Replies

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 2:04 PM
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Replies (1-10):
tifferie
by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 2:08 PM
Maryland is crazy ridiculous. A few bad seeds ruin it for everyone. While I kind of agree about the ingredient thing (my dd is allergic to dairy), I find it sad teachers can't hug children.
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crazy4u49033
by Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 2:11 PM
1 mom liked this
Well, sure lets make our children unable to express themselves in a positive manner. Lets let them cry alone and not allow a hug for comfort. That's the way to create a 'safe' environment. Honestly, this makes me sick. We are going to far. We are human beings. We are meant to interact. Then they extend it to high fives? Really?
I could go on as I find most of this article to be unproductive.
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mlogsdon
by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 2:28 PM

That's too far. I agree with not disciplining other people's kids, but to not allow touching at all? And parent's can't talk to the teacher if they see them in passing? Oh hey, I have a quick question, so let's make a meeting 2 weeks from now so I can ask it!

Rach0307
by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 2:49 PM
I like the sentence "Evil doesn't follow rules". The fact that criminals and dirtbags don't follow the rules in place seems to be something people these days forget about. The only people who will be hurt by a no hugging rule are the children who are seeking a positive way of greeting others. Soon enough, kids will be like zombies walking through the school hallways, not so much as looking anybody in the eyes. Intimacy and kindness will no longer exist by the time our children are our ages, and that makes me really sad.
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enlightened_24
by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 5:31 PM

It is way out of hand. My sons teacher told me I could bring cupcakes to school for his birthday so I did: I was met at the front door of the school by the principle who informed me that it had to be store bought and unopened...In addition to the annoying no hugging rule, the learning has gone out the window too. Homework isnt counted against you, tests can be taken up to 3 times, and as long as you show up you pass. THE PRINCIPLE EMAILED ME THE HANDBOOK THAT STATED AS MUCH :(

mlogsdon
by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 5:35 PM
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Quoting enlightened_24:

It is way out of hand. My sons teacher told me I could bring cupcakes to school for his birthday so I did: I was met at the front door of the school by the principle who informed me that it had to be store bought and unopened...In addition to the annoying no hugging rule, the learning has gone out the window too. Homework isnt counted against you, tests can be taken up to 3 times, and as long as you show up you pass. THE PRINCIPLE EMAILED ME THE HANDBOOK THAT STATED AS MUCH :(

Wow...... Maybe this is why there's such a huge trend toward homeschooling now. That's nonsense.

Baby_Avas_Momma
by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 5:41 PM
I think it's really sad this country is one of the only countries that focuses so much on detaching themselves from their children, and then cries "whyyyyy" when they grow up to have issues. This is ridiculous.
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brittany208
by on Mar. 20, 2013 at 6:09 PM

sigh... what is this world coming to. sad.

littlemoments99
by Member on Mar. 20, 2013 at 7:30 PM

I would be so sad if they didn't allow home made treats. My mom makes the best cakes and we always brought in a cake for our birthday's. I don't want a boring store bought cake and I don't want to have to pay a fortune. That's just silly. I can make twice as many cookies baking them myself as I can buying them. You can still require a list of ingredients. That's not hard to write up. 

I also think parents should be allowed to go with their kids outside of the cafeteria. What if they have a big, awkward project to carry to their classroom? What if they had something happen and the teacher needs to know about something. Communication needs to be able to happen in a school. 

The no hugging/touching rule is also dumb. I remember we had a lunch lady in my elementary school that everyone loved. Everyone called her grandma and would give her a hug when we saw her. I also think hugging, high fiving, etc. between teacher and student creates trust between the two. They can bond better sometimes. Some kids need hugs. Especially in elementary school. 

I remember even in middle school and high school, at the end of the year you always hug your teacher. Especially the ones you were closest with. We also hugged teachers who were retiring or leaving on maternity/paternity leave for a while.

enlightened_24
by on Mar. 21, 2013 at 10:33 AM

I have strongly thought about homeschooling for this reason. There is also an online public school site k-12.com I think, another big possibility.

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