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Show ALL Forums  > Current Events  > School penalizes students for hugs, high-fives      Home login  
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 Canoe Gal
Joined: 5/5/2006
Msg: 1
School penalizes students for hugs, high-fivesPage 1 of 1    

School penalizes students for hugs, high-fives
Strict no-contact rule, meant to stem violence, has some pushing for change.

Updated: 4:40 p.m. MT June 18, 2007
VIENNA, Va. - A rule against physical contact at a Fairfax County middle school is so strict that students can be sent to the principal's office for hugging, holding hands or even high-fiving.

Unlike some schools in the Washington area, which ban fighting or inappropriate touching, Kilmer Middle School in Vienna bans all touching — and that has some parents lobbying for a change.

Hugging was Hal Beaulieu's crime when he sat next to his girlfriend at lunch a few months ago and put his arm around her shoulder. He was given a warning, but told that repeat missteps could lead to detention.

"I think hugging is a good thing," said Hal, a seventh-grader. "I put my arm around her. It was like for 15 seconds. I didn't think it would be a big deal."

But at a school of 1,100 students that was meant to accommodate 850, school officials think some touching can turn into a big deal. They've seen pokes lead to fights, gang signs in the form of handshakes or girls who are uncomfortable being hugged but embarrassed to say anything.

"You get into shades of gray," Kilmer Principal Deborah Hernandez said. "The kids say, 'If he can high-five, then I can do this.' "

Hernandez said the no-touching rule is meant to ensure that all students are comfortable and crowded hallways and lunchrooms stay safe. She said school officials are allowed to use their judgment in enforcing the rule. Typically, only repeat offenders are reprimanded.

'Making out goes too far'
But such a strict policy doesn't seem necessary to 13-year-old Hal and his parents, who have written a letter to the county school board asking for a review of the rule. Hugging is encouraged in their home, and their son has been taught to greet someone with a handshake.

Hal said he feels he knows what's appropriate and what's not.
"I think you should be able to shake hands, high-five and maybe a quick hug," he said. "Making out goes too far."

His parents said they agree that teenagers need to have clear limits but don't want their son to be taught that physical contact is bad.

"How do kids learn what's right and what's wrong?" Henri Beaulieu asked. "They are all smart kids, and they can draw lines. If they cross them, they can get in trouble. But I don't think it would happen too often."
I can understand a school wanting to prevent and stop violence in their school but feel that this is going way over board. It teaches children that all touching is bad. What kind of message is this to teach a child. What is one of the first things we do if they come running to us with a cut, scraped knee or broken heart? We hug them. I don't care how crowded a school is, we should not have anyone teach our children that ALL forms of physical contact are bad or not allowed.
 Canoe Gal
Joined: 5/5/2006
Msg: 2
School penalizes students for hugs, high-fives
Posted: 6/20/2007 5:10:56 AM
We expect our kids to be exposed to some conflicting messages or teachings other than our own out in public since many people have different beliefs but we do not expect schools go to these extremes. How is it possible that anyone would agree to this type of ban?
 IndKyPerson
Joined: 4/14/2007
Msg: 3
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School penalizes students for hugs, high-fives
Posted: 6/20/2007 12:37:45 PM

I can't believe that any parent in their right minds would stand up for this. My child would be taken out of that school so fast.


Honest question; Do you have that many public provided options in your community? If so, how many?
 IndKyPerson
Joined: 4/14/2007
Msg: 4
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School penalizes students for hugs, high-fives
Posted: 6/20/2007 1:09:38 PM
By public provided options, do you mean different schools I could sent my son to?
public paid vs private paid.
 Flyers_Phan
Joined: 1/16/2005
Msg: 5
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make defense contracts not love
Posted: 6/20/2007 2:36:10 PM
anyone remember when kids used to beat each other up in school and the world was such a horrid place? Things sure haven't changed now that we have zero tolerance, the world still sucks, it's just being inhabited by a bunch of pus$y kids and their pus$y parents.
 Canoe Gal
Joined: 5/5/2006
Msg: 6
School penalizes students for hugs, high-fives
Posted: 6/20/2007 8:28:32 PM
I agree with Care Bear. If that were to happen in my kids' schools I'd be pulling them out too.
One thing I don't understand is how the no touching ban is going to stop any fighting. Kids these days don't know how to fight. They're lazy and take short cuts. They'd rather just knife their victim or shoot them. Not really any feel good touching there.
 Canoe Gal
Joined: 5/5/2006
Msg: 7
School penalizes students for hugs, high-fives
Posted: 6/20/2007 9:59:36 PM
I guess we should be grateful the schools haven't decided to protest and protect the poor little darlings from lamp posts too. After all, hasn't every kid (or most of them anyways) stuck their tongue to one if they live in a cold climate during the winter? I guess they feel there are still somethings best learned by doing...lol.
 1Fish2Fish RedFishNewFish
Joined: 9/8/2006
Msg: 8
School penalizes students for hugs, high-fives
Posted: 6/21/2007 6:44:01 PM
Wait, Tipper Gore wasn't in Vienna VA, was she?!

The folks who came up with this concept apparently have not led normal lives. This is the craziest thing I have heard, bordering on emotionally abusive...

(I'm glad my niece and nephew from Vienna have long since graduated...)
 intheswim
Joined: 1/8/2007
Msg: 9
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School penalizes students for hugs, high-fives
Posted: 6/21/2007 7:33:42 PM
Unfreakin believable...the inmates are truly running the asylum now!
The delicious irony of course...is that it's in the "Land of the Free"
Free to do what you're told is more like it!
That said...control freak nitwits abound here as well...
Is there no escape from twits?
Will someone please save us from those who are trying so hard to save us?( heading off grumbling to myself in search of a shot of rum!)
 Canoe Gal
Joined: 5/5/2006
Msg: 10
School penalizes students for hugs, high-fives
Posted: 7/24/2007 8:40:16 PM

Well, a guy could always start a touch football game at recess
It' possible the school no longer has a football team or even a wrestling team for that matter. They would be in violation of school policy at every practice and game.
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