Are hugs harmful? According to the state of Maryland, the answer is quite possibly. In an article in Huffington Post, St. Mary’s County public elementary schools issued new guidelines, which include the hug ban. Among other bans include birthday invites (feeling could get hurt), and homemade foods (since those with allergies could get hurt).
In fact, the ridiculousness doesn't stop there. The long list of rules compiled by both parents and teachers over four meetings will see parents banned from walking "with their child when he or she leaves the cafeteria," visiting during recess (that goes for siblings, too), and approaching teachers in person.
Under the Best Practices on School Visitors, parents must report to the front desk and have their photo taken.
If you think that's taking safety too far, consider that many other schools—in Oregon, Florida, New Jersey, Brooklyn, and even New Zealand—have hugging bans in place.
I know there is such a thing as uncomfortable and inappropriate hugging. But there is also such a thing as reassurance and emotional security. My son suffers from anxiety, so tight hugs are hugely helpful in helping him calm down. Yet I realize I may be in the minority when I say that teachers have my blessing when it comes to doling out hugs.
Are you OK with teachers hugging your children? Is a hug ban the way to go?