Why Aren't Students Allowed to Wear Sunscreen at School?

Jaylen Waddle
Jaylen Waddle

Most people think that school is a place where children should be kept safe. However, as Jesse Michener, a mom of three children who attend Tacoma Public Schools in Washington, recently found out, this is not always the case.
Last week, Michener’s daughters Violet and Zoe spent the day outside for a field day. However, after five-hours outside in the sun without any sunscreen the girls were very sunburned.
“Two of my three children experienced significant sunburns,” Michener wrote on her blog. “Like, hurts-to-look-at burns.”
Michener is upset not only because her children got sunburned, but because the school district has a policy that does not allow teachers to apply sunscreen to the students unless the students have a doctor’s note. In that case, the teachers still cannot help students apply sunscreen; they must do it themselves.
“One of my children remarked that their teacher used sunscreen in her presence and that it was ‘just for her.’ So, is this an issue of passive, inactive supervision? Where is the collective awareness for students safety? [The girls would have worn hats to protect themselves, but,] alas, hats are not allowed at school, even on field day.”
Sunscreen is not allowed without a doctor’s note because it is considered an over-the-counter medicine. Most would probably agree this is a pretty ridiculous policy. Sunscreen is obviously not a ‘medicine’ that should be denied to children, especially when they are going to be outside in the sun during the summer months. And as Michener said, “They will heal [from their sunburns] this week, but long term effects are yet to be seen.”
Via The Huffington Post
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