October 3, 2007

Zero tolerance for hugging

I’ve noticed a rather sweet trend among high schoolers and middle schoolers lately. Students – especially the girls - are very affectionate, hugging each other hello and goodbye.

So what do the Zero Tolerance folks that I’ve been blogging about lately have to say about that?

No more hugging.

Take Percy Julian Middle School in Oak Park, Illinois. The school has just banned all hugging on school grounds.

Hug a friend, go to jail. Or at least, to the principal's office.

"Hugging is really more appropriate for airports or for family reunions than passing and seeing each other every few minutes in the halls," said school principal Victoria Sharts, who lamented that some students were forming "hug lines" in the hallways.

"The goal is always to promote safe and orderly hallways where everybody can get by, be safe, and be on time." (And, she didn't mention, to be an automaton.)

No knives and guns, I can see. But no hugs? Is that really the right message to be sending to youngsters?

Photo credit: Soulfull (Creative Commons license)