Posts Tagged ‘Palm Bay’s Southwest Middle School’

The Hugging Rule: Another Example of Running Schools Like Prisons

November 4, 2011

There is a huge difference between hugging someone because they are your friend and sexual harassment.  It is not hard to distinguish one from the other.

Friends hugging innocently in the playground in no way prevents schools from punishing children for sexual harassment.

A 14-year-old Florida student who hugged his friend was suspended as a result of his middle school’s zero-tolerance no-hugging policy.

Nick Martinez said he gave a quick hug to his best friend, a female student, between classes, WKMG-TV reported.

The public display of affection was spotted by the principal of Palm Bay’s Southwest Middle School, which is 120km south-east of Orlando. While the principal told WKMG-TV he believed the hug was innocent, he brought the two students to the school’s dean, who penalised them with in-school suspensions.

According to the Southwest Middle School’s student handbook, students can receive a one-day out-of-school suspension for kissing, while students caught hugging or hand-holding are penalised with a dean’s detention or suspension.

The school’s strict policy stipulates that there is no difference between an unwanted hug, or sexual harassment, and a hug between friends, WKMG-TV reported.

What measures like this do, is transform schools which are already unnatural places for children and make them even more dreary and dictatorial.  The irony is, that while bullying continues to be a major problem, you would have though that acts of friendship would be encouraged, not outlawed.
What’s next – banning students from complimenting each other?
It’s about time we started matching school bans on children by imposing bans on schools.  I would love to ban schools from implementing rules inspired by political correctness gone wrong!

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