We’re on our way to the place where “all restaurants are Taco Bell.” Schools across the country have been taking a stand against a dangerous activity: Hugs. Gone are the days of the displays of friendly affection and camaraderie. And good riddance.
Justifications seem generally to focus on the slippery slope from hugging to violence or “inappropriate touching,” but at least one school has also cited punctuality to class as a reason for the rule. Personally, I have a bizarre memory of a classmate acting out the SNL Spartan skit, “My name is Craig. I give good hugs. You’re not my friend if you do drugs!” He’d then give you a big hug. I remember him doing this mostly in the school cafeteria during lunch hour… geeze, that was a really disruptive and dangerous time–I’m sure glad my child won’t grow up in a world where that’s okay.
Schools in Connecticut, New Jersey, Florida, New York, Virginia, and North Carolina…the list goes on…have been making our children safer by designating their place of learnin’ as a Hug Free School Zone. And the U.S. is not alone, the folks Down Under are getting in on the action, er…not allowing the action…er…
The kids interviewed in these articles are generally caught by surprise, not realizing their sign of affection is a disciplinary offense. Occasionally they’re indignant that such a behavior would be punished, when so many other activities are allowed. Some have gone so far as protesting via “Hug In,” but to no avail.
One commenter on an article I read summed the issue up well. I’ll leave you with her words:
We live in a world where children feel so friendless and alone they take their own lives, feel ostracized enough to take the lives of others and bullied to the point they feel anguished and depressed at the thought of attending school. No one has found a definitive way to combat these issues, yet there is a ban on an action that instantly boosts moods, reminds you that someone thinks you’re special and let’s you know that someone’s got your back? How shameful. I remember with fondness the hugs I got from friends still near and dear to me to this day, and am thankful for having known I was never in anything alone.
Have we really gone this far America?