Banning Hugs in School
By: CJ Cassidy
By: CJ Cassidy
An Illinois middle school wants students to keep their hands off other students.
The Chicago area school now has a strict "no hugging" policy. Administrators say, students began "hugging lines" in the hallways that kept others from getting to class on time. The principal also says some of those hugs were too long and too close.
Most school leaders in the Heartland say they limit public displays of affection or PDA's on campus.
The Central Middle School handbook defines PDA's as "physical contact that is inappropriate for the school setting, including but not limited to kissing and groping."
So, is hugging really wrong at school?
"I just needed a hug from my friends, and they gave me a hug," said Hollie Tidwell, a middle schooler at Central Middle.
Administrators at most southeast Missouri schools say they wouldn't frown upon the kind of hug she's talking about, regardless of why she needed it.
"I had boy problems," she said.
An embrace between teammates at a game or cheering fans would probably bring out some smiles, too.
"I don't think schools could have a romantic PDA's beyond holding hands and still keep it to an environment that teachers are able to teach in and students are able to learn in," said Superintendant Dan Moore, at Kelly Public Schools.
Still Moore doesn't watch the hallways like a hawk. He trusts his students to behave.
"You don't want students to make other students uncomfortable," he said.
Kelly sophomore Crystal Gosnell says she understands her school policy, but maybe she should read it again.
"I hug my boyfriend," she said, but says she would stop if she were asked to.
Most students agree a school policy is necessary.
"You don't want to see kissing in school. Do that out of school," Senior Bryce Faulkner said.
But, banning hugging altogether? Folks in the Heartland say have a heart.
"Children need hugs. If they're not getting it at home, it's ok to get it from friends," said parent Melissa Daniels.
"If you completely banned hugging there'd be something missing in your heart," Hollie Tidwell said.