No Hugs Allowed

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Here is my latest entry on a list of "Things That Make You Go, 'Hmm'":

An article in yesterday's New York Times discussed a new trend among teens to, get this: hug each other. Apparently a lot.

So often, in fact, that schools across the nation have started banning the action. Banning hugs. (Full article here.)

Upon Googling to find you the link to the NYT story, I learned that this isn't really such a new phenomenon. Here's a Time article from November 2007 that reports that an eighth-grader served two detentions in a week for hugging her friends.

Am I the only one who thinks this sounds completely ridiculous? They're hugging, not shooting each other up with drugs. Certainly this world (especially middle schools and high schools) could use a little more love and a lot less hate, right? What's the harm in hugging?

Remember this guy? He offered free hugs to people on the street and turned himself into a YouTube sensation. His "hugs campaign" sparked many other people to do the same, all around the world. Hugs are good, not evil.

School administrators claim that it's difficult to draw a line between appropriate and inappropriate hugging, so it's easier to place a ban on hugging altogether. Really? I look back at my high school days, and although we didn't use hugging in the same way (or as often) as it seems teens do now, it wasn't hard to see when innocent, platonic, friendly hugging turned into all-out groping (or heaven forbid, making out *shudder*). It seems to me that should the sexually charged touching happen, it would be pretty easy to pick out among the rest in order to tell the two lovebirds to knock it off, no?

Not only that, but my god... how much time and effort must they put forth into enforcing these stupid bans on hugs? One of the articles says that some schools have placed time limits on hugging. Anything over three seconds is unacceptable. Whaaaat? Again, I say... really? So, if two students hug in the hallway, is there are a teacher or administrator standing over them with a stopwatch?

I. just. don't. get. it.

Now, I'm not a teacher or an administrator, but I can only imagine that these people have much more important things to worry about. Like, say, THE EDUCATION OF OUR CHILDREN, for one. If I was a teacher, and I was told by my administration that I had to give detention to students for hugging in the hallway in between classes, well... I think I'd be pissed.

As far as I'm concerned... hug on, kids. HUG ON.


Kate May 29, 2009 at 11:45 AM  

I'm a first grade teacher (who stumbled on your blog a year ago while planning my own wedding). I see absolutely NOTHING wrong with kids hugging each other. Now granted, there is a big difference between a 1st grader and an 8th grader, but still. Friendly hugs and groping are different, and should be defined as such. I think it's ridiculous. This world needs more hugs. I have no problem with my kids hugging each other, but I do keep an eye on all of them and inappropriate contact is dealt with. But hugs? Hugs are not inappropriate.

Bri,  May 29, 2009 at 4:53 PM  

I'm a junior high teacher (who stumbled upon your blog and boy did I wish I could simply concentrate on their education. Hugs are good to a certain extent, but they are becoming more inappropriate. We haven't banned them at my school yet, but the students are being watched closely and we are to montior any behavior, dress, actions, words, etc. A teacher's job is never just teaching and the education.

my mid mid-life crisis May 30, 2009 at 9:17 PM  

I left you some lovin' on my blog! Go check it out! :)

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