School Bans Hugging & the Decline of Civilization Continues

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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?


Image via D Sharon Pruitt/Pink Sherbet Photography/Flickr

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Sierr... SierraLynn

Kids can't hand out invitations to party's in fear someone may get their feelings hurt.

yeah, its called life and there is disappointment in life. Not everyone gets invited to everything. Of your little johnny comes home crying because he didn't get invited to a birthday party, he is probably not that kids friend. Get over it and move on. And yeah, the hugging I can understand, but all out no touching, as in a high five or something if ridiculous. Shit like this makes me fo fucking mad with public schools. I wish we could afford private school for my kids or I had the patience and will to homeschool. But I believe my kids need the social interaction of going to school each day.

abra819 abra819

^^ agree

Tracys2 Tracys2

I know why they made the rule, and I kind of suspected that all schools had this rule, but I do violate it. My son has a girl in his class (2nd grade) who is in my Sunday school class, and when she sees me, she does come up and give me a hug every time. She has a rough life, and she needs love and stability desperately, and I really can't say "no" to this child.

Totally get it, though. But yes, it's hard to regulate people. With feelings and lives outside and possible good and bad impulses.

nonmember avatar MammaMel

No, the hugging I DO NOT GET. It's not like people hug just any kid. I am close with the kids (AND THEIR PARENTS) in my sons class...these kids run up and give US HUGS (I will say that the kids that I am NOT friends with their parents kinda creep me out though if they try to hug me) and you know what? IT'S GREAT!!! If my kid is misbehaving I am HAPPY for my friends to tell him to stop, I am happy that there are other adults in his life that aren't family who love him. This rule is terrible.

bills... billsfan1104

Thank God my kid goes to a small private school, where the teachers love our kids and I love that they hug them and encourage them and care about their well being

nonmember avatar Kellie

I hope that rule doesn't catch on. I remember hugging my trachers as a kid. Are we now supposed to put fear in our children for someone they must see every day? I want my children to have a bond with their teachers, if they like the teacher they'll learn better. Its not like id just allow them to be alone with them. And when I drop my children off at school or volunteer for class events am I not allowed to hug a crying child or high five them for doing a good job? Sick.

tinyk... tinykitty

Stuff like this is really making me consider private or home school for my little guy.

Vegeta Vegeta

Just by the title I figured it was the rule my school has recently installed about hugging parents or classmates because it's 'unfair to the students who don't get hugs from their parents or friends ' Wtf. We all must be robots.

Krystina Wong

well here in Macau,China toddlers can't hug each other either.. was such a big problem cause i moved with me son to china when he was 2 years old and where we come from (belgium) all the kids hug and even give each other kisses on the cheeks... and than all of a sudden my son wasnt aloud to give any hugs any more it was so hard for him he thought the kids didnt like him :(

Jennifer Moore

I went to private schools my whole life and I still remember all the teachers that hugged me when i needed one. I also remember all my childrens friends that hugged me when i had to go to their school for whatever reason. These "kids" still call me mom #2 and they are in their late 20's. As a grandmom, I pray (yes we still pray in my house) that my grand babies get the same treatment I recieved going to school.

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