When I was child I attended your run of the mill primary school. Assembly every morning singing hymns that included the reassuring whole world in his hands, teachers that shouted and made you put your hands on your head for punishment, which resulted in me not being able to sit next to my friends in class because I’d constantly giggle and a fabulous tuck shop at break that allowed you to eat as many sweets as your teeth could handle. There was no ban on fizzy drinks and burgers were served almost every day but I feel that times have changed to a degree unimaginable to the years I remember.
The memories I have of my childhood are amazing and looking back at my primary years don’t fill me with dread but of times that make me smile. I remember a friend of mine being shouted at for wearing make up in year 6 (that wasn’t allowed) I remember our gym attire was awful and if you forgot it you had to do it in your pants and vest!! But my worst memory was falling in the yard at break and cutting my knee quite bad (it was probably a graze but I remember there being A LOT of blood. So much I was worried my leg would drop off!)
I remember crying so hard I could barely breathe… a teacher that worked in year 3 came over to me, picked me up and cuddled me with a reassuring embrace whilst telling me I was going to be ok. She took me to the first aid room, applied a plaster and let me help her tidy the classroom ready for the reading session we had after every break time. I was excited because that meant I could read to her first. Now I’d like you to look back at those sequence of events, she picked me up… she took me (alone) to the first aid room then took me back to her classroom (again alone). I was then excited to read with her. Surely if I was afraid there was no way I’d want to read to her? Now while I appreciate this may seem strange to the younger generation this was totally normal thirty years ago. I was never fearful of any teachers in that school, they never made me feel uncomfortable and if I was sad then having a little hug was nothing but expected.
Fast forward thirty years and wow have times changed. People have many different views when it comes to peers and how they should act around children, especially teachers. We send our children to school every day and put our trust in their teachers, so why is it some people feel uncomfortable allowing a teacher to hug a child if they are upset or even apply a plaster? Surely if your child is hurt or sad and you’re not there you would prefer someone to do that job for you? I am trying to understand peoples thinking when it comes to this and I still, even after working on this subject for many years can’t get my head around it. My opinions are probably going to be argued and that’s great because maybe then I’d get a better insight. Could it be because main stream media aren’t afraid to raise subjects on the evening news that would have usually been shown on the 10 o’clock slot, thus exposing children to the horrors of the world we now live in and letting them form an opinion on something they don’t fully understand? Surely if this type of media insists on exposing these subjects to minds that have a thinking of black and white (meaning they aren’t able to rationalise a situation) does that mean schools should start reviewing the papers on a daily basis so children can have a better understanding? I have experienced this with my own daughter who is now too scared to attend a concert due the Manchester attack. Does all this allow my daughter to grow up quicker than I did all those years ago because I find myself rationalising a situation for her? Can we blame technology for giving children the opportunity to access stories that you would only find in a library archive when I was child? Does all this give people the opportunity to raise concerns that aren’t always there? Has a minority of situations involving teachers really clouded society’s minds to judge the majority?
A story local to myself has haunted me since that day it happened, a child aged 8 was having an asthma attack and the teachers in her school weren’t able to help her because the school had endorsed a ‘no touch’ policy, as a result this poor child sadly passed away.. So where do we draw the line? Does it take for a child to be in dire danger before a teacher can intervene?
As I said earlier in my post, I know this piece is going to be argued and I welcome that because I just can’t seem to understand the main reasoning behind schools having a policy that most teachers think is barbaric. Let’s be honest Posh Spice couldn’t even kiss her daughter without being pulled up on it. There’s not one friend of mine who doesn’t show their child affection by kissing them and while I know there are some horrendous people out there who do imaginable things have they really made it impossible for children to be shown love by their parents as a rule?
I would be happy as a parent to sign a slip giving my permission to a teacher to help my child if they are in need of assistance, reassurance or just a friendly hug to tell them everything is going to be ok. Can’t this become a rule like the photographing slip?
I’m no Katie Hopkins and please believe me when I say I’m not insisting my opinion is right by any stretch of the imagination but knowing the view of others may help me understand why my child can’t have a reassuring hug when at school.
Please feel free to leave comments as I will reply to everyone no matter if it is for or against the no touch policies. Hopefully afterwards I will be a little more clued up on reasons behind the schools decisions to enforce them.
Thank you for reading guys and I look forward to your comments J