School forces teachers to shake hands with pupils to help kids feel respected

Jane Howdle
Headteacher Amanda Simpson

A handshaking policy introduced by a new headteacher has led to panic among staff and parents.

Some teachers at Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys are now arming themselves with hand sanitiser amid fears that shaking hands up to 150 times a day may cause them to pick up germs.

Head Amanda Simpson is standing by her decision, which sees teachers shaking hands with every member of their class before each lesson.

One parent told Kent Live that she was worried about the consequences of the mandatory handshaking.

She said: “It will be interesting to see what happens if there’s an outbreak of Norovirus.

“I assume it was introduced because the new head wanted to introduce some element of respect – but I wouldn’t think that sort of thing would make any difference.”

 

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Ms Simpson believes that starting every lesson “with a handshake and a smile” makes children feel welcome and appreciated.

She told Kent Live: “”We have had no negative reaction from pupils and they seem to appreciate the gesture.

“I introduced this in my previous school without any complaint and without any increase in the rate of infection, so I believe the concerns are unwarranted.”

She confirmed that hand sanitiser was available throughout the school for anyone worried about the spread of germs.