Seeking to heighten safety, a southern Maryland school district has banned homemade treats for classes, banished birthday invitations and prohibited parents and volunteers from hugging or touching children who aren't their own.
The new rules, which cover 8,000 students in 17 elementary schools in St. Mary's County, also forbid siblings from visiting during school hours, even if they are with a parent.
The "best practices" were drafted by a committee of parents and administrators last fall and implemented after the Newtown, Conn., massacre in December, Southern Maryland Newspapers reported Friday. NBC News picked up the story Tuesday.
"We think it's the right balance between safety and parental involvement," Kelly Hall, executive director of elementary schools, told the newspapers.