School Climate & Safety

Citing Safety Concerns, Md. District Looks to Put Restrictions on Parents

By Francesca Duffy — March 22, 2013 1 min read
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A Maryland school district is considering a measure that would ban visitors at elementary schools from hugging other people’s children. The policy would also prohibit parents and visitors from bringing homemade food to schools and limit lunchtime and recess visits.

The proposed new rules were drafted by a committee of parents, principals, and school staff in the St. Mary’s County school system in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings in Newtown, Conn., in December.

“We think it’s the right balance between safety and parental involvement,” said Kelly Hall, executive director of elementary schools and Title I, in an interview with Southern Maryland Newspapers. Hall also explained that elementary principals and parents in the district had reported having issues related to school visitors.

But Cathy Allen, a member of the school board, told NBC that the new rules are “horrible.” According to the network, Allen said that “The idea that you can’t go into a school and be hugged by a child, or go in (to) have lunch or be out on the playground and that you can only push the swing for your child and no one else” is unacceptable.

NBC also reports that district officials told the network the rules are not final and that they would like feedback from parents.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.