Parents question Johnston County's ban on lip balm
Posted November 26, 2010
As temperatures and humidity dropped this fall, parents in Johnston County learned about an unusual policy change in the schools.
Students can no longer bring lip balm to school without a note.
Schools spokeswoman Terri Sessoms said the rule is in place to prevent the spread of germs when children share the sticks.
Dr. Chuck Williams, who has three sons in Johnston County schools, doubts there is really a threat.
"There's not really toxicity with Chapstick that I'm aware of," he said Friday.
"I'm sure the intention is good, in terms of protecting the kids from communicable diseases. But probably just the closeness in the classroom and the proximity to one another in the winter time is just as dangerous as anything else they're doing in terms of using Chapstick. So, again, it seems just a little bit over the top," he said.
Sessoms said lip balm falls into the same category as other limited, non-medicine items like hand sanitizer, sunscreen and baby wipes. She said teachers use the notes as a reminder to deter sharing in the classroom.
Lisa Sturgeon, who is a nurse and parent, thinks that is a lesson better learned at home.
"I understand maybe if they wanted to emphasize it a little bit more with the younger children -- kindergarten, first grade -- who they think might not follow those rules, but my kids have never shared," she said.