Maryland school district outlaws hugs, homemade food

St Mary’s County elementary schools have turned into dismal, gulag-esque affairs – school board officials have voted to outlaw hugging, homemade food, birthday party invitations, and visits from siblings in their schools.

This is just weeks after the St Mary’s County school board suspended a certain Josh Welch (7) who apparently bit his Pop Tart into the shape of a gun, causing alarm (sigh) from a teacher who (facepalm) told school administrators, who then suspended the boy for two days because (drink) they viewed the pop tart as some sort of threat. So that’s a thing.

While tensions are high after the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre, these measures were voted on before the shooting. And while – obviously – nobody wants any rando pushing their kids around on the swingset, this set of rules strikes me as a little draconian. No hugging? No eating gun-shaped food? No feelings hurt? These kids are going to grow up to be entitled assholes – having your feelings hurt from time to time is part of growing up. So is holding a banana and saying “bang!”. What’s next – banning books written by black people because white people get offended by mentions of racism? Oh. Wait. That really did happen.


Here’s the list from the local Southern Maryland newspaper:

The no-hugging guideline could be difficult, she acknowledged, because often it is a child who approaches an adult visitor for a hug.

Birthday invitations should not be handed out at school, Hall said, because students who are not invited could have their feelings hurt. She said school PTAs could develop phone and email contact lists, with parents’ approval, to distribute.

Foods for celebrations should be limited to store-bought items that contain ingredient lists so as not to interfere with children’s food allergies, according to the rules.

Parents visiting the cafeteria should not hug or touch children other than their own, nor should they discipline other children, the guidelines say. Parents should also not walk with their child when he or she leaves the cafeteria.

Prior approval is not needed to visit a child during lunch; however, some schools may have more specific rules based on available space, Hall said.

Only registered volunteers are allowed on playgrounds. And even then, they are not to play with children other than their own, including pushing on swings.

As for Pop-Tart-Shaped-Like-Guns-Gate-2K13… luckily a state representative introduced a bill saying that that kind of hyper-reactive tomfoolery should not fly anymore.

It’s called the “Toaster Pastry Gun Freedom Act” (really), and it is expected to pass.