Parents back Langley school’s controversial ‘no-touching’ policy
Langley parent Angela Rosborough (right) says concerns about the policy should have been made to staff at Coghlan Fundmental Elementary instead of to the media. (CARMINE MARINELLI/ 24 HOURS)
Parents at a Langley school are defending a temporary ban on touching in kindergarten after kids were hurt during schoolyard horseplay.
Ken Hoff, communications manager for the Langley school district, said on Wednesday some of the touching injuries at Coghlan Fundamental Elementary were caused by children dragging each other around by linking hands.
In a letter dated Nov. 1, the school stated it would have a “zero-tolerance” policy on hands-on play and breaching the new rule could result in trips to the office, or children being temporarily pulled from activities.
Julie Chen, whose daughter is in kindergarten, said she was outraged when she first discovered the letter. She contacted another upset parent at the school who works for a TV news channel. A copy of the letter was also sent to a daily newspaper.
“And all of a sudden I started getting phone calls,” Chen said, adding she doesn’t want to fight the teachers, but wanted to have the issue heard in public.
“I didn’t expect it to be that big, I just wanted to get it out there.”
But Hoff said many parents have shown support for the temporary policy by sending gifts such as flowers and chocolates to teachers and the principal, who have been bombarded by local and international media after the story broke this week.
Angela Rosborough, who has one child at the school and another attending kindergarten next year, said challenging the letter via the media was disrespectful. She said a conversation with the teachers and the principal should have been the first step.
“I realize people have different opinions on the policy, I’m OK with that, but how it’s been handled has been really terrible,” she said.
As of Tuesday, Chen said, the school has started going back to contact games with conditional rules, such as using only two fingers to play tag instead of grabbing or slapping.