"Hands behind the back" policy- is this prison or public school? - FamilyEducation
"Hands behind the back" policy- is this prison or public school?
01/19/2012 at 11:35 AM

I have recently discovered that my 6 year old son's elementary school has a very militaristic policy for hallways- kids must walk along a blue line of tape with their hands behind their back and no talking. I am absolutely furious about this. My son has ADHD and is clumsy (both are genetic lol) and has fallen and struck his head multiple times while walking, just in the last couple of weeks! No one has informed me there was a hands behind the back while walking policy until just now- and his teacher only let me know as a complaint that he was "misbehaving" by not wanting to walk with his hands behind his back, not in relation to his injuries. They have said they would exempt my son from having to participate in this activity but that's just not enough for me. How can they justify doing this to children?

So they won't push or poke each other or touch things along the walls, that's what they claim the reason is... to treat children like prisoners for the sake of nobody pushing anybody else (which is probably going to happen anyway) they would restrict the freedom of movement and balance of children?

Is this what we are coming to as a society? And how come I cannot find anything else about this online as far as students rights goes? I can't find anything on google regarding the new trend of forcing kids to hold their hands behind their back while walking in the hallways. Does anybody else have this problem with their schools? I think single file is sufficient for orderliness and this definitely crosses the line!

Suggest that in order to accommodate your son's awkwardness, he be allowed to fold his arms in front, rather than hands behind his back.

I believe they should ALL be able to walk with their hands to their sides not behind their backs.

Go find out why the 'behind-the-back' option is preferred. If you don't ask, you'll never know if there is justification for this. If you do ask, then you open the lines of communication and the opportunity for change.

I did ask (in fact it should be in the thread), the school told me it's so they don't push and poke each other or touch things on the walls (ie act like children :p). I'm sure they do it for liability reasons but it's also very negative to the children to do that. And I doubt it keeps any of them from pushing and poking sometimes anyway. It's dumb.

I mean, why behind the back? Is there some advantage to that over folding the arms or clasping hands in front?

Maymaya, I can't even explain this to you I don't think. Just imagine the children are walking with their hands at their sides. Your son says something another kid doesn't like and is pushed and falls down. I am sure you would be one of the first parents to complain about your poor child being hurt. Kids need to be taught to obey at an early age. If not, by the time they are 16 they end up in trouble. Everything these days is being babyfied from Preschool to the armed services. Grow up and let your son do the same. It is for EVERYBODYs safety. If he has issues with this maybe you should walk with him at school so he is safe.

I, too, am shocked about the policy. I grew up without having to "perp walk" through school. Tell children to keep their hands to themselves and don't knock things off the wall. If they are not smart enough to understand that, then TEACH them-. Since when is it for everybody's "safety" that we indoctrinate our children to be passive and compliant to that degree? Our children know how to walk-they are not prisoners! I understand that schools are implementing this so they qualify as a "Model" school, therefore more money. WHO has decided that this is "model" behavior???

What's next? Will they be expected to march like Korean soldiers?

whats the point no matter where thier hands are they will still use them in the same way as if they were down by their side. no matter how many times you tell a child to keep your hands to the side or behind your back theres always one that misbehaves.

When we were kids, the nuns made us walk on tqpe but never with hands behind our backs. I don't see the reasoning behind it either, they should be taught to behave with their hands on their sides. If anyone pushes, they get punished or detention anyway.