A primary school in the United Kingdom has banned students from touching and even looking at snow due to its “distracting” and unsafe nature.

According to the Daily Mail, students at the Stalham Academy near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, were “marshaled” indoors shortly before school began last week after less than 1cm of snow fell to the ground.

After students were ordered not to go near the snow for the remainder of the school day, a classroom full of eight and nine-year-olds were accused of allowing the snow to distract them, prompting a teacher to close the blinds and ban the class from looking outside.

School administrators defended the decision by calling the snow a “safety” issue, arguing that the ban was in line with school policy.

“Over the course of the day the ice had not cleared by break time on the Monday and sleet and snow showers prevented outdoor play at lunchtime,” a statement read. “Having discussed the matter with the class teacher in question, she noted that the heavy snow fall was having an impact upon the learning of the children during one of her lessons so the blinds were closed to ensure that children focused on their tasks in hand.”

Parents, on the other hand, were not supportive of the school’s decision.

“It is not an everyday or even an all-day occurrence so how this could possibly affect the education of our children is beyond me,” Charlotte Marsters, mother of a nine-year-old student, said. “Bah humbug Stalham Academy because whilst you were containing our children in artificially lit classrooms the majority of the other schools were having snowmen building competitions and science experiments on snowflakes!”

Marsters even stated that one boy was reprimanded for collecting a small amount of snow off a wall before entering school.

Shelly Betts, mother of and eight-year-old student, was also shocked at the school’s harsh decree.

“When they told me they’d shut the blinds I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “They’re only little and they only stay children for a short time. They could have turned the snow into a science lesson instead of banning them from seeing it.”

The school’s policy represents the growing crackdown on normal childhood behavior that has spread to educational centers across the globe.

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