School policy on hand shaking....for or against it?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/23/2011 ( 66 moms have responded )

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Ok, so I know this site has huge diversity, so I am REALLY interested in what everyone has to say about this. I am in the USA, and hand shaking when you meet someone is a standard social skill we learn growing up. It is a gesture of greeting, and if you don't do it...especially on a professional level...it is considered rude. Other countries kiss on both cheeks, bow....and quite frankly I am not sure about all other cultural greetings. Now onto the good stuff....

So, my son is in a Charter School (basically a public school privately funded, and typically has a better academic program than regular public schools) they have to wear uniforms etc. So, the big thing is, when entering school, they MUST shake hands with the director of the school....every single scholar. I don't like it, especially going into cold and flu season. I do like that it teaches the kids proper greeting skills, but every day of school? If your child is the last in line to shake the directors hand, you have shaken hands with 120+ other students, that may have a cold, strep, flu..etc.

Now, I know kids are going to be exposed to germs no matter what....I am just not a fan of directly exposing them with hand shakes....it puts our children in contact with it more directly.

Oh, I guess I should mention....they go and eat breakfast directly after shaking hands....with no hand washing.

What do you think about this...would you make a stink? Cause I already have.

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Jaime - posted on 09/23/2011

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Even if you manage to stop your son from having to participate in the hand-shaking, it won't stop him from coming into contact at other times throughout the school day. All you can ever really do is take the necessary precautions and make sure your son's home routine is conducive to his health and well-being...that really is his only defense against sickness.

[deleted account]

Marina, I think you have a valid point! I just spent the last 2 nights in parent/teacher conferences and shook hands with well over 50 parents, and you better believe I had my bottle of hand sanitizer at the table with me! But for your son's school, I understand the principal's point of view. I think there could be a different way of greeting just as a simple good morning with a wave. One sign of a good principal is knowing each child by name, so a "Good Monring David" Good Morning Sue" goes a long way over a handshake. I have to agree with you. When you say you have already caused a stink, did you speak with the principal directly? Or an office staff member? How strong is the PTO in your school?



ETA: Please be careful making a generalized statement that charters are better than public schools. Just coming from a public school educator-there are wonderful charters out there, and some not so great ones. Charters do not have to require certified teachers and staff. There are some great public schools, and not so great public schools. Just my 2 cents :-)

Stifler's - posted on 09/23/2011

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The only time I've shook hands recently was with my wedding photographer ? Around here you only shake hands with people you don't know when you're meeting them for the first time or congratulating them.

Minnie - posted on 09/23/2011

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I think that's weird, making the children shake hands. I think it's a good thing to learn- but I don't force my children to shake anyone's hand, rude or not. *shrugs*

I hope they change for you. I can understand your concern of increased contact making your son more at risk- of course they are around people all day long but this adds to it even more.

Sherri - posted on 09/23/2011

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I don't see a problem with it. They are going to come in contact with a million germs a day anyways. Just teach him to keep his hands away from his face and especially his mouth. Just teach your son to say I have to go to the bathroom before breakfast and have him wash his hands and come out they will be none the wiser.

Also with the hand sanitizer you better check the schools policy on this some schools will not allow it in the schools due to the alcohol content in it, especially if they ingest it.

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/26/2011

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He is honestly fine, just running a little temp. Like I said, I only alternate when he is really sick. Sorry to hear about your son. Sucks to have sick kids....especially when there is nothing you can do to make them better.

Brittany - posted on 09/26/2011

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Marina,

In the case of your son having a 99.4 fever then no you would not need to alternate. I would suggest that if you are having a hard time breaking the fever or it increases.

Caoleb's health has been everything except easy. Every time I hear him cough it almost makes me cry. His ears got so bad that he could never tell when they hurt because, he had so much built up in there. The dang gone doctors would not do anything about it until I saw Dr.Wiggins and he lost it on the other doctors at the office.

His adenoids were the size of a peach pit. For those of you who may not know they are supposed to be the size of a lemon seed.

Needless to say when Caoleb gets sick he is pampered.

I do hope your son is feeling better.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/26/2011

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When he is severly sick with a wicked high fever, I do indeed alternate every 4-6 hours between tylenol and motrin. But when it is minimal, and just a slight fever, I only use one,....and it tends to last all day. No need to re-dose until bedtime for him. My son and I both have chronic bronchitis, so when we are really sick, we cannot even leave the house.

Brittany - posted on 09/26/2011

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I can not speak for my two youngest but, when Caoleb has any type of fever I keep him home. Not because, I do not think he can not or should not go to school with a fever. Because, he has bronchial spasms. When he is sick like that he has to have a breathing treatment every 4 hours. I just choose to keep him home.

Brittany - posted on 09/26/2011

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You can ask your Pediatrician for your own child's advice but, often it is recommended that you alternate Motrin and Tylenol. They are made of, pretty much, the same stuff. Just like any other medicine your body will being to build a tolerance to Motrin and Tylenol. Alternating them allows them to work their magic without building up an immunity to the medicine.

Please do ask your doctor though. That is what I do when my children have a fever and it has been suggested to me several times by the Nurses.

[deleted account]

P.S. I'd send my son to school if he had a fever that was under 100, as long as he didn't have any other horrible symptoms to go with it (vomiting, diarrhea, etc).

[deleted account]

I think it's great that your son's school (love charter schools by the way :) is teaching the kids to shake hands. You're right, it's a very good thing for children to learn to do. Not only for social reasons, but for professional reasons as well. I think making them do it every day is too much and I see your point about the germs. My son wouldn't have the problem of many kids shaking hands before him because our last name starts with a B. But what about the Zieglers of the world??? LOL Maybe you should suggest something to the school that maybe only on Mondays, a fresh day of a new week, they all shake hands with the director. I'd also send him to school with a little hand sanitizer (if he's old enough to have one of his own).

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/26/2011

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They are in school from 7:30 am until 3:30 pm....long day of handshaking :)

Jenn - posted on 09/26/2011

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Hmmm...other extremely time consuming and Sort of annoying, the handshaking isn't a big deal. The no hand washing before eating though?? That is just asking for illness! Germs are good, to a degree. After six weeks of strep with my oldest, we attached a sanitizer to her backpack!

How on earth do they have time to shake so many hands every day??? My daughter is also in a charter school and they are cram packed in their daily schedules where a bathroom break happens pretty much if their eyes turn yellow :)

Becky - posted on 09/26/2011

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Haven't read all the other replies... I don't really have a problem with the handshaking, although with that many students, it seems a bit time consuming to me. But with or without shaking hands beforehand, I do have an issue with a school that does not encourage their students to go wash their hands before eating breakfast! They've been playing outside, changing dirty shoes, riding the bus, who knows what else! Kids should always be given time to wash their hands before a meal!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/26/2011

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So does Motrin, infact I think it brings it down faster, amd keeps it away longer thand Tylenol. Rebecca, I also said he had a slight fever of 94.4 it goes with school policy.

[deleted account]

I didn't think motrin would affect a fever? I thought only tylenol brings down fevers. My concern with giving him anything to reduce the fever is that you are obscuring an illness.(potentially) and thereby putting other kids at risk of illness. So if motrin is keeping the fever at bay, you are not really following the policy

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/26/2011

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Yup Teresa, and I gave Motrin. Chances are he will not spike.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/26/2011

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Ok, this is the school policy...I will copy it verbatim:

Medical Exclusion
In the interest of protecting the health of all scholars, please DO NOT send a scholar to school in the case of any one of the following:

-A fever over 100 degrees withing the past 24 hours
-An undiagnosed skin rash
-Vomiting or diarrhea within the past 24 hours
-Untreated conjunctivitis (scholars may return 24 hours after beginning treatment)
-Untreated head lice
-Diagnosed contagious illness such as strep throat or mononucleosis



I followed school policy ;)

[deleted account]

Fever free (at least here) is under 100, so 99.4 counts. I probably wouldn't send my kid at that temp cuz it could go up during the day and I don't wanna have to go pick them up. ;) But sending them at that temp is perfectly legitimate here.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/26/2011

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I can read the policy again Sherri and make sure i did the right thing. At this point, he has already been there for 5 hours. They would have called me to come and get him. I told him directly what was going on.....so....they would not have let him into school if it was a problem. They would have told me to take him home.

Sherri - posted on 09/26/2011

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We must have different state laws because our state law is they must be fever free for 24hrs before we can send them to school.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/26/2011

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It was a low grade fever 99.4 They want all the kids in school unless they are so sick they cannot be. That is ANOTHER school policy.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/26/2011

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He is not even the principal! FFS! LOL, but yeah, they are all gonna get sick. THEN they will have to pay for substitute teachers....I would rather no handshaking, healthy staff, and most of the kids at school...instead of out sick due to rapid spreading of germs.

Merry - posted on 09/26/2011

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Haha yeah that principle and all the teachers are going to be catching every virus around! Haha.
I do think it's a nice sentiment but it's just a bit over the top

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/26/2011

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Yup....so this weekend my son has been running a low grade fever without any other symptoms. This morning he was running a fever again, gave him motrin....when we got to school, before the director could shake his hand I let him know. Not only did he put his previously out streched hand in his pocket, but took a step away from my son. This from the man who told me "we don't want germs to win the war of our hand shaking policy. We will shake hands until we are forced to stop by a serious out break. We can all handle the minor stuff." Fucker.

Merry - posted on 09/26/2011

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Wow that's crazy! Well I guess the teachers are also going to be getting sick alot :)
That's a ton of handshakes every week.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/25/2011

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I just got my computer back, and I have yet to read all the responces that I have missed. But, I did talk to my son this am about the handshaking in the morning....I actually stopped...thought about it and asked him "do you shake hands with all of your teachers when you go to a new classroom?" "yes momma, we shake all the teachers hands". So this is not just a morning ritual, this is each and every class they go into....yiikes.

[deleted account]

Sorry -- just read the rest of the posts about the school not wanting a hand sanitizer pump. Then it looks like your option is to give you kid sanitizer and ask them to wash their hands. Your kids generally won't get sick if they are good about washing their hands.

[deleted account]

My boys attend a Montessori preschool and they have the same policy. However, they also make the kids wash their hands before eating and anytime they touch their noses. For me, I would send the kids to school with a bottle of hand sanitizer. You might also suggest that the school place a HUGE bottle of hand sanitizer at the entrance and make the kids sanitize their hands as part of the post-handshake routine.

Stifler's - posted on 09/25/2011

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I don't use sanitiser either it dries my skin. Baby wipes are good enough lol

Merry - posted on 09/25/2011

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I don't disagree with the handshaking, but doesn't it take up alot of time? Is there a line waiting to shake ands every single day? Idk seems like a fine practise but maybe once a week on Monday or something would be enough.
I don't use hand sanatizer, I think it's kinda overkill.
I do think washing hands is a fine thing but IMO sanatizer is not the equivalent of a good wash with water and maybe some soap.
Germs aren't the enemy, they keep us strong. I think yeah the winter season is overload of germs sometimes and especially young kids can get stuck with virus after virus and it royally sucks! But IMO washing is the answer, not sanatizer.
And everyday hand shake is overkill IMO.

[deleted account]

Our principal knows all the kids in K-5 (probably 500+) and I don't think a single child has ever shaken his hand.... He MAKES himself visible to the kids on a very regular basis. ;)

[deleted account]

"As well, it makes the director more accessible and "known" to the entire student body. S/he is not just just some shadowy, scary, and forbidding figure who sits in the office, and whom you only see when there is trouble. "

Oh that's an excellent point that I hadn't thought of. I remember being quite afraid of the principal whom one ONLY saw when they were in deep trouble. It would never have occurred to me that he was anything else. I think you have a very valid point there!

Mary - posted on 09/25/2011

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I'm with Jen K on this. I'm probably the furthest thing from a germaphobe there is. When you really stop and think about it, kids (especially little ones) are much more "exposed" to germs in places like the play lots or other communal play areas where toys and such are shared.

As for the daily greet and handshake - I think it's actually not a bad idea. It serves more than one purpose. Through it's repetition, it instills polite and proper manners. Kids really do learn through repetition. As well, it makes the director more accessible and "known" to the entire student body. S/he is not just just some shadowy, scary, and forbidding figure who sits in the office, and whom you only see when there is trouble.

[deleted account]

The germs wouldn't bother me, but the hand shaking would. ;)

Hand shaking may be polite and respectful, but it most certainly isn't the only way to be polite and respectful. If it's school policy though.... I'd either 'suck it up' or find another school.

Ez - posted on 09/24/2011

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** Mod Warning **

Please keep any personal bickering off the board ladies. Take it to PM.

Erin - DM Mod

Brittany - posted on 09/24/2011

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Marina,

I do not have a bitter attitude towards you. I was trying to give you some advice. No I did not read all of the other posts because, frankly I do not have time to read all of them. I read the OP only and give some advice. My apologizes if you took it the wrong way. No harm intended.

I am not exactly sure how my "life" on DM could be miserable? This is not my life. I do not take anything personal on here. I could care less.

If the parents do not want their kids using sanitizer pumps and they will not allow the children to wash their hands before the eat breakfast then I would bring that up to the board as a health risk.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/24/2011

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My son is taught to also, but with all the children in the school....I think they feel it may take to much time. It is something they are considering, but looks like it may be petition time.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/24/2011

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Brittany, if you are going to have a bitter attitude every time you see me around, you are going to have a miserable life on DM....so here is my advice to you, either ignore me and don't comment to me, or get over yourself and knock off the bull. And in response to your post, if you have read posts of mine, you would know that public sanitizer pumps are not an option cause some parents don't want their children using them.



Edited to add, you are not close enough to me to call me pet names, so please drop the condescending attitude and use my name, or once again, refrain from talking to me if you cannot control yourself.

Michelle - posted on 09/24/2011

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I haven't read all the replies but I would like to know why they don't wash their hands before eating.
My kids since they were in child care have been taught to wash their hands before and after eating.
At the primary school my boys go to there are quite a few kids that have severe allergies so the school even implemented that ALL children wash their hands before and after eating.
That way if a child has, for example nuts in their food, they don't transfer it to the play equipment after eating. That way there is less risk for the allergic children to come in contact with what they are allergic to. My oldest son has 1 classmate anaphalactic (sp) to dairy and one to nuts, so they are very vigillent.

[deleted account]

"I wouldn't really care. I think it's a bit over the top on politeness really. do you shake hands with your boss every single day?? I never did. "

IMO, American society has grown to disdain basic manners and politeness. I think we denigrate good manners by calling it 'political correctness." I think this really does cause mutual respect. I wouldn't mind walking into work and shaking my boss's hand. I always extend my hand in greeting when meeting someone new. I find it incredibly sad that people are creeped out by courtesy.

[deleted account]

I disagree with you. I think it's an excellent way of fostering respect (mutual respect) for adults and people in authority. They could always put a purell dispenser right by the door for the germphobic.

Charlie - posted on 09/23/2011

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The germs dont bother me I just think that as an everdy day thing this seems absurd and excessive.

On formal occasions or first time or occasional meetings sure but everyday ?? seems weird.

Brittany - posted on 09/23/2011

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Marina,

No offense sweets but, LOL you would make a stink about this.

I do agree that yes, they should allow the kids to wash their hands in the bathroom before they eat or maybe put a sanitizer pump on the wall outside of the cafe. Kind of like the ones they have at the hospital.

We come into contact with so many germs everyday. Each time you go grocery shopping, how many people touched the apple you just bought? Sure you are going to go home and wash it but, before you do it gets put into your car, then your kitchen and your counter or fridge, then it gets washed. So all the people who touched it are now in your home.

One thing to remember is we DO NOT want to kill every single germ on our bodies. Some germs are good germs and we need them to survive.

I would go to the school board, or at a PTO meeting, bring up a fundraiser idea to have the students collect money to place the pumps throughout the school.

http://www.marketlabinc.com/product.asp?...

This is a Purell Automatic pump. This one is kind of expensive and I am positive you can find manual ones for way cheaper. Just wanted to send you in the right direction.

Carolee - posted on 09/23/2011

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(I didn't read the other posts)
I would stick a travel tube of hand sanitizer in my kids' pockets... if it's allowed. If that's not allowed, they need to make sure the kids are able to wash their hands before eating. If they don't let them do either of those things, then I would put up a fuss.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/23/2011

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Yup, it is the same here....or if you have not seen someone in a long time like a professional meeting of some sort.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/23/2011

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Yeah, and how many people do you shake hands with on a daily basis, unless you are in the business world?

Stifler's - posted on 09/23/2011

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I wouldn't really care. I think it's a bit over the top on politeness really. do you shake hands with your boss every single day?? I never did.

Rosie - posted on 09/23/2011

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i don't like the idea of it based on principal, lol. sure it's nice to shake someones hand, but i honestly think it's silly to make them do it everyday.IDK, seems really cheesy to me. i'm not big on fake forced gestures of kindness. it doesn't make or break my impression of that person. i'd rather my children be kind to people than shake their hand.

Denikka - posted on 09/23/2011

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I like the suggestion from the other thread about incorporating a greeting from another culture. Maybe give the kids 3 options (handshake, bow, and..something else)

It's silly when administration is completely unwilling to listen to the parents.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/23/2011

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I really went into that meeting prepared, and suggested every thing that I could think of from changing the policy and implementing a new greeting, to washing hands, to sanitizing....to kids being allowed to carry their own....stopping doing it JUST for cold/flu season...I mean I really felt I did a good job with my presentation. I am a fighter though, i am not done. I am willing to take on other suggestions for sure! Any ideas taht may help I am open.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 09/23/2011

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Did that Denikka, some people are VERY against it. It was a whole discussion in the meeting. Half the parents wanted it, the other half threw a fit about NOT using hand sanitizer. So...the school will not do it.

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