St. Mary’s County public elementary schools will not allow students to consume any food made by parents other than their own, due to health issues of students. Treats must be store-bought and contain an ingredient list.
Oh, and hugs from anyone other than the child’s parent are no longer allowed, either. If a parent registers to volunteer as a playground attendant, then he or she may play only with their own child – and that includes such little things as pushing a child on a swing.
More rules include parents not approaching a teacher at school, asking for a conference – those must be pre-scheduled.
“We think it’s the right balance between safety and parental involvement,” Kelly Hall, executive director of elementary schools and Title I, told Southern Maryland Newspapers Online. “At the same time, parents were expressing some concerns.”
If one student wants to invite his or her classmates to their birthday party, then they’ll have to do it off-campus due to oversensitivity from students who may not be invited to the party.
As a sibling, don’t even think about visiting your older or younger sibling during school hours either, even if accompanied by a parent. That’s not allowed either. It’s unclear whether or not exceptions will be made for events such as school plays.
In what is perhaps the only sane guideline, all visitors must sign in and out on the computer in the front office, which will take their picture, too.
No punishment has been released for parents who break these rules. They were suggested before the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December, but were immediately after to help ease fears about school safety.
These guidelines have gone into effect, but they could be altered later this spring or summer when the board reviews its formal policy on school visitation, last updated in 1998.