Have you heard about the latest things being banned in school?

Recently, all public schools in Saint Mary’s County, Maryland, joined the growing number of schools to ban hugging. But then they went a lot further, and also banned things like unplanned parent-teacher conferences, students handing out party invitations in class, and even students bringing baked goods to school – including cookies and birthday cake!

Officials from Saint Mary’s County say the new bans are all about improving safety and security in schools. But they’re also trying to crack down on some other common problems schools face today.

  • For example: By banning hugs between students, and between kids and adults who aren’t their parents, Saint Mary’s hopes to avoid cases of inappropriate contact. Kids can’t even be pushed on swings by anyone but a parent.

  • Also, by banning baked goods – like birthday cakes – the school district hopes to protect kids who have food allergies.

  • And what’s the point of banning party invitations in school? According to school district director Kelly Hall, that’s all about keeping kids from getting their feelings hurt. Because if there are 20 kids in class, and someone brings only 10 invitations, then kids will feel left out. 

Despite the good intentions, lots of people are against the new bans. They say the new rules won’t make kids any safer, and they’ll make school like a police state. But the district says that the rules are necessary to reduce the anxiety many parents have today, when they send their kids off to school.

So, what do you think? Should more schools adopt birthday cake and hugging bans? Or is it impossible to protect kids from everything that might hurt them – from hurt feelings to allergies? Weigh in at Facebook.com/JohnTesh.