No hugging allowed in school

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by tinamarie1, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. tinamarie1

    tinamarie1 Member

    I just have to share this with yall. It is driving my easy child CRAZY. About a month ago, the principal of her junior high school held an assembly and told the students they are not allowed to show "Public Display of Affections" ie: PDA's. He was referring to hugging. Now, if any of you have any girly girls in junior high, you know that when they see their friends before school alot of times they squeal and run up to each other and hug. My daughter isn't so much that type, but if one of her friends is sad or depressed, she puts her arm around them and tells them it will be ok. They have had 3 more assemblys regarding this Hugging going on. A group of students even made t-shirts that said "Free the Hugs". The principal demanded that they take them off/ go home and change. As this is seen as disrespect for his authority. My easy child keeps coming home asking if their rights have been violated. She says things like "mom, we have a right to wear a tshirt that isn't offensive, right?" isn't that peaceful protest? "we have a right to express ourselves and hug each other as long as the other person is ok with being hugged, right?"
    School lets out here next Friday and well, I know there will be alot of hugging going on. Should I tell her not to hug her friends goodbye? We are actually moving in a few weeks and she won't see them again most likely.
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Maybe every student or, better yet, every parent should go up and hug the principal on the last day of school. I do understand the logic behind it but that doesn't mean I would like the rule itself.
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Did something happen that created a need for this type of policy? Sad as it is, I agree that it's probably better if teachers don't hug students. But there's a difference between a quick hug and the "air kiss" that girls give each other, or the macho handshake/chest bump that guys do, and the gross "get a room" behavior that you sometimes see in middle/high school.

    It's kind of sad that it's so near the end of the school year, as it makes it difficult to keep the momentum going on changing the policy. If it were me, I'd instigate a giant group hug after the last bell rang on the last day. But that's just me. That principal sounds like a nut!
  4. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Our school had a policy that anyone who was an "item" was not allowed to show any PDA.

    Had a few nutball chaperone's on our senior trip that thought they'd enforce it to the hilt.

    Looking back at those photos still makes me laugh...everyone held hands the whole trip with anyone who wasn't their so. Huge group of high school seniors, skipping thru DisneyLand, holding hands and hugging each other - but it was ok, so long as they didn't touch the person they were dating.

    Where did common sense go???

    I'm with Witz. Big group hug, timed so everyone does it at the same time. They gonna expel them all on the last day???
  5. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Honestly, I am just scared to death of this type of thing. My daughter can be inappropriate at times and is very affectionate at others. She likes to kiss boys just to annoy them....didn't we all do that???? It freaks me out that she's going to possibly get suspended for sexual harrassment at 8 years old.

    In a neighboring town, a boy was suspended for this. 6 and 7 year olds getting expelled for mooning someone. Honestly, I think they need to focus their attention more on stopping kids from picking on the little boy that no one wants to sit next too or the little girl that looks a little different from the rest than worry about kids hugging each other and showing affection.

    Perhaps the schools need to teach classes on appropriate behavior instead of making rules about silly behaviors that are perfectly normal. (This should be taught at home, but evidently is not).

    Honestly political correctness has just gotten way out of hand.
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Where do these administrators get the time to make all these whacko policies??

    I can see no PDA's of the "get a room" variety, but other than that, it is just a waste of time, in my opinion.

    As for rights being violated, at least here in OK, those under 18 have NO rights, their guardians have the rights.

    If I were staying, I would be calling daily to see if whackjob administrator could be reassigned, or the policy could be changed.

    At this point, with the move, just let her do it her way. How much are they going to punish her in the last week of school?
  7. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    This is just ridiculous! I can't believe the adminstration has wasted so much of their time creating, notifying the student body or, and enforcing a stupid rule like this.

    I agree, "get a room" PDA should not be tolerated for so many reasons - no need to list them.

    But friends hugging - my God, that's just nuts.

    I wouldn't want my kid going to a school where showing emotion was prohibited. Hugging is a universal way of showing affection, sympathy, support, encouragement and many other things. I think it's wrong for any school to adopt a policy like this one.

    Since you're leaving anyway, and it is the last week of school, I think I'd encourage your daughter to have all her friends do a group hug-in. She can research how past peaceful protesters organized sit-ins and walk-outs at the junior/senior high school level. I think it's a valuable lesson. Also, I would consult with an educational advocate to see if any civil rights are being squashed. What has she got to lose?
  8. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    wow, I am surprised at the post and at the replies.
    My oldest is 19 now. WHen she was in kgarten. we were told back then that if a child fell on playground, the teachers staff, nurse, other students were not allowed tohelp the child up after the fall, were not allowed to put a band aid on skinned knees, the child had to get themself up- be handed a band aid to put on theirself- no touching of any kind in any circumstance was ever allowed at all between anyone, not even student to student, from kgarten on up thru grade 12. By the time oldest was in middle school here, well, she was in a self contained ed bd class, and she was the only girl in the calss, with 8 boys (against MY wishes, and I fought it tooth and nail) and by then the rule was each person MUST maintain an arms length from any other person. ALL persons, staff, teachers, students. And that was not just for the ed bd class, but the whole district here. So- it has been this way here all these years now. Silly me simply assumed it was sorta similar everywhere else? I hated it, I remember telling school it was the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. I understand there has to be SOME guidelines etc......but.....this is way overboard, but it has been that way here all these years.

    As for clothes? Again, our district is quite restrictive and has TONS of rules re clothes. ANd they add more rules every school year. I took my son out of school 2 years ago, and he just began middle school. He did begin the year, and I went to orientation, and at that time, the newest rules were NO black ANYTHING - not even shoes. I think? and absolutely strict restrictions on what colors could be worn at same time together. I guess all black might have been allowed, becuz I remember specifically.....yellow was a total no no if a kid had black at all, even just black shoes or a belt. Red was not allowed even if it was just a small stripe or something. Blue could not be worn with black or green.....even if it was a dot on a picture on a tshirt. alll these rules. Plus of course nothing on head has been allowed at all since my oldest started school, not even bonnets that came with dresses in kgarten. hooded sweatshirts have not been allowed for 6-7 years........altho full winter coats do not fit in our lockers-----if jeans have a hole in them, they are not allowed, even if it is a hole in the knee......tank tops are not allowed, and I do not mean just spaghetti strap types, but no tank tops at all----nevermind our school is 4 stories and brick and not air cond and school starts in august and goes till mid june and it gets 110 degrees here and can be very humid.....and sweatshirts are not allowed even tho in winter we can have -30 windchill (and school is NEVER called off for weather)
    Yes there are TONS of clothing rules, and yes, dureing holiday in winter, near CHristmas, kids here have not been allowed to wear Christmas tshirts or sweathsirts or such in years and years. (In case it is offensive to non christians) (aw heck 2 years ago easy child was quite mad cuz school announced over PA that any kid who got caught SAYING Merry Christmas would be suspended...and then a few months later a kid named Jesus caused a big uproar becuz school did not want anyone to use his NAME! they tried to get his parents to let them call him by his middle name, but they refused, and it created a huge problem....and they tried to suspend other kids who used his name Jesus instead of his middle name? yeesh!)
    Yeah, we have a bazillion rules. some very weird ones. AND yes, the discipline/punishment for even these type rules can be very harsh.suspension even expulsion, even for a first infraction, even if it is minor.
    do I LIKE any of this? NOT AT ALL, never have..........which is why I homeschool 2 of mine and why my easy child graduating HS this week caused me to post I cannot remember when I have been THIS happy post.
    But......none of it surprises me anymore. It just makes me angry and or sad.

    Inever could figure out HOW we could teach our kids "appropriate" touching if they had to stay a full arms length away from every do we teach tolerance and acceptance and diversity of we outlaw even kids NAMES for goodness sake? and my kids themself have been commenting for, once a month we have a mandatory schoolwide diversity assembly, BUT they tell us ALL we MUST wear a certain shirt to diverse is that if they demand we all wear the exact same thing? LOL. Good question.
    Yes, I know there must be rules and guiidelines and yes, I understand some will push things is just goofy, in my opinion. to go to such extremes.
  9. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I don't think it's healthy to spend 6 hours a day with people who can't reach out, emotionally or physically, when a child needs simple reassurance that his/her caregivers (because lets face it, that's what teachers are to an extent) actually care.

    I am already tired of everyone being suspect. I am tired of people being afraid to help others or tap a shoulder or hug a child when he or she has finally reached a milestone or done something stupendous! Or, fallen in the playground with a bloody scraped knee! My God, they can't even put a bandaid on the cut? That is stunning.
    Even after difficult child's assault, I STILL think it is wierd that a teacher, male or female, cannot reach over and pat a student on the back or squeeze a shoulder in congratulations.

    Students of ALL ages need daily reassurances and positive reinforcement and those come in many different forms. Physical touch being one of them.

    It has been studied that if a child is not touched on a daily basis, he/she will wither up inside. What is wrong with so many of us that we don't have any trust left in the good and healthy intentions of the people who spend a majority of their day in our children's lives?? Isn't this part of parental involvement - KNOW your children's educators!!
    And, yes, I realize that there are cretons out there who take advantage of a situation, but I still feel that we can't try and live our lives or have our children live thier lives in a place of seclusion and mistrust of everyone around them - it's not healthy for the mind and spirit.
  10. tinamarie1

    tinamarie1 Member

    Jo--I totally agree with you 100%!
    Dreamer--I would have to homeschool my kids if I lived where you live too. I don't understand how we have to be sooooo sensitive to others backgrounds/needs and freedoms but then try to sensor everyone at the same time. You can't do both and foster healthy relationships with students/teachers/administrators. I am actually thanking my lucky stars for my kids schools after reading your post. I realize it could be much much worse.
    What are our school systems coming to? So sad.
  11. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    It is completely ridiculous. But the schools are covering their collective butts by doing this.

    There is no formal guideline that they could come up with that says "this kind of touching is OK, but THIS kind is not OK". How could they draw a line? There would always be someone trying to cross it. Trying to enforce that would be very difficult, and would completely take away from any educating. If the teachers and staff had to police the kids by trying to determine "did he just hug her? Or did he touch her the wrong way, as she alleged" there would be no time to learn. It is a sad thing that there is so much sexual abuse and harassment going on (I remember being mortified when boys would snap my bra) that it has come to this. This way, sad as it is, if nobody is allowed to touch, then there is no chance of any inappropriate contact. And no chance of the school being sued.

    Sad sad SAD that the world has come to this.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Dreamer, we would have homeschooled every year, not just some of the years if we had to deal with that kind of nonsense. And, isn't it your area that has had some awful violence on the campus and other areas?? By young people who may have gone through these schools?? Hmm, makes ME wonder.

    I totally agree that it is just sad that we have to wonder about abuse from teachers and others, but where is the common sense in the school systems??

    It is against the rules to hug, or wear certain colors, but you can vote a 5yo out of the class, or have a class write out why they don't like a certain classmate?? Geepers, I am loving our SD more and more.

    I do understand some of the color restrictions, gangs show affiliation by the colors, and wearing the wrong color in the wrong place can get you killed. But why not put in a UNIFORM instead?? Easier to enforce, easier for parents than a large # of rules like dreamer's schools created. here, shirts must be non-offensive, but the definition is fairly broad, and is determined by the principals. So far we have had little fuss, because our principals in elem school and jr high are reasonable people. Middle school not so much, high school is amazingly reasonable.

    I jsut don't get it all. Probably won't ever get it all either.

  13. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    I remember going to the school all those years ago and being stunned into incredulity about if my little tiny yr old fell down on playground and scraped up both knees, noone at school could/would help her up, apply band aids FOR her etc. I found that just terrible. Altho I do understand people make accusations, things are taken wrong etc so much.and even with these very restrictive rule,s well----things still do not work out, altho I often wonder if it is BECUZ of the extreme restrictive rules? I don't know. I do know my girls way back in 98 or 99 did as they had been told and told someone at school along with a friend of theirs that their friends stepfather was being physically inappropriate, and the school did nothing and now back in 05, the same creep FINALLY got arrested and by then had stacked up SIX young victims and was finally arrested on sexual molestation of 6 minor children. (to clarify, no, this accused is NOT employed by the school...but the kids reported the abuse to school personnel) - it is still dragging thru court, tho.
    When Buffy was grade 8 in a Special Education self contained class in a different school building than her "home" school building- the kids in her class rode on their own bus, just them, becuz they had seperate school hours etc and were totally 100% segregated from all other students......she (Buffy) accused her bus driver of being inappropaite- verbally----many many many her principal. Her principal kept saying nah, I do not believe you. One day every single student supported Buffy, and they ALL got off bus at same time becuz they ALL said the bus driver was inappropriate to Buffy.......every single kid then lost bus priveleges for remainder of school year for getting off without "permission" and the district still refused to accept the accusation, even when every single kid on the bus backed it up.
    The police refused to become involved, said it was a district isue, not a police issue? But by then it did not matter much becuz after it happened Buffy would not would not would not ever get on a bus again, and still won't, even when they rent school busses for non school functions, she panics and cannot board one, all these years later.

    And yes.I have often wondered if some of the violence at school is related to how rigid and extreme our district especially is, and how hard they bring down discipline etc for certain issues etc......

    I know I have sat thru some very weird parent teacher assemblies where they tell us exactly what an acceptable breakfast, packed lunch and dinner are.....and the question the kids and look at school lunches and call us and call cps if they disagree with our choices.......yet at same time both husband and I have been in school and heard even elem teachers behaving rather crude, useing true cuss words AT students, calling individual students and or entire classrooms by cuss word names.....when brought to principals attention, principal shrugs and says "tenure" Our boy scout leader has also tried reporting such things, and our head of PTA volunteers DAILY in class of her one child specifically becuz she feels it helps reduce the friction between school staff and the kids......
    I do not know what the answers are to correct things and make them better, but I do know many many kids are beginning to feel more like they are imprisoned than in a classroom, and more and more children are even in kgarten and first grade HATEING their school experiences, partly due to how aggressive and violent some of their peers are but also due to how rigid the school environment has become and also----academically-----
    when I was in nurseing school- my oldest child was in grade school/middle school, and to my surprise, MY homework was just about the same as my childs! What I was learning in college-nurseing school anatomy-physioogy was what my 5th grader was learning in grade 5 science-health class.

    Now, yes, we have had some major and serious problems here at our school since NIU shootings......and we had 4 bomb threats between our HS and 2 middle schools AND even the elem school------SO----our entire district has been on complete and tight lockdown ever since. BUT even before the lockdown-----2 years ago assigned seating went into effect in our cafeterias, and no talking allowed dureing lunch, altho- the kids only had 22 minutes to go thru lunch line and get their food and eat it.......
    BUT I have often wondered just how the kids are going to learn appropriate social skills with no recess, no talking allowed.....etc etc.
    The school environment here where I live is deplorable. And as I have said so many times here- many docs, ndaocs, psychiatrists, tdocs etc feel it was our school that really took my oldest difficult child and crushed her so hard so badly that it is THAT that made her so extremely nonfunctional. So agoraphobic, so disassociative, so PTSD.

    Soooooooo a few minutes ago, easy child brought home her "rules" for graduation ceremony, she just had rehearsal.....
    Yeesh. No shorts, no jeans, no sleeveless shirts under gowns. No gym shoes, no sandals, no flip flops under grad gowns. No corsages, no flowers in hand, no wrist corsages, no flowers period. No pins, no letters, no nothing allowed on gowns or caps or shoes. No bracelets. one ring per hand. No necklaces. socks or pantyhose must be worn. no watches, no cell phones, no purse, no wallet......
    2 tickets per kid.....inside ceremony in non air cond here today is 90 degrees with 90% humidity and is supposed to stay the same for a week. (ceremony is sunday noontime a few hundred kids)
    She brought home this very long letter----I saw it and thought GEESH.........what kid will even want to be in ceremony with these rigid rules? We have attended less somber funerals recently.
    How HOT will they be in dress clothes and grad gowns in the stuffy gym? WHEW!
    Wonder how many kids and or parents might pass out from heat?

    Yes, I do sometimes wonder how many people get overwhelmed, pushed over the edge of reason and sanity by the district and then lash out? I find it very very sad that even first graders are hateing school SO much, to me that speaks volumes that something is very very wrong. When I was a little child, we were so excited to go to school! school was for the younger kids, a very happy good place. But it is not that way now, and I just do not know how to even begin fixing it.

    Yes, children and people NEED human TOUCH. Absolutely. It is a very very real and physical need. a basic human need. I don't know the answers but, it is very sad indeed. and I fear how it affects the wide spectrum of kids long term.......
    I know my district is very has been ever since I first began coming to message boards about spec needs kids, I have seen my district stands WAY out in it's extremeism......and now I see record numbers of kids shoved out of school, and ones who drop out out of fear not fear of peers, but fear becuz of how they are treated in class etc......and I am now seeing kids who are so crushed, demoralized, kids who have no concept of human warmth......little tolerance for diversity of any kind in spite of these stupid diversity assemblies etc.....becuz while school is saying diversity with their lips- they are not living any diversity AT ALL. Not modeling any. Nor are they modeling respect, common courtesy, common sense, logic, thinking, etc. And I came to a conclusion academic intelligence is one thing......but----without people skills, common sense, ability to think and reason? academic intelligence alone means little. you can have very little academic intelligence but if you have some common sense and people skills, you can make do. we are turning out some very gifted academic kids here......that are fast failing out of college, out of jobs, out of life..becuz they do not get the other things needed from school and cannot make it. I a also watching here....many kids who did not do well at all academically.....who excel in college and or at jobs.....blossoming under being treated like human beings.
  14. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    Now-----all of that said BUT
    When difficult child Buffy was in grade 10, there was a lice outbreak at school. The school deicded to lice check every kid. So, Buffy went to school one day and they said they were gonna lice check her head and they told her to submit. well Buffy HATES being touched by ANYONE. SO she told teacher, my mom is a nurse, can she come check me? can my doctor check me? school told her "no" - the teacher and or school nurse had to check her. so Buffy got anxious.did NOT want to be touched.......and tears began to slip down her cheeks. WHen they came to check her, she started to openly cry and she was polite about it (everyone made sure to tell me Buffy was polite) and she said Please no, do not check my head. Partly she was afraid if she had lice, she would react in a panicy way......and she did not WANT to react in a panicy way at school-----she had been trying so hard to learn her triggers for panic, and she did not want tobe touched, plus she had some rebellion becuz she found it hypocritical that they never permit touching but now they want to touch her head. Soooo-- what do they do? The freak ing teacher ridiculed her and called school nurse who ridiculed her and called school psychiatrist who ridiculed her and threatened to call school cop- who came and threatened to JAIL her if she did not submit! Of course THAT all increased her stress and panic hundredfold. At which point they then did forcibly grab her, hold her down and try to check for lice. AT which point she freaked out huge, and began to scream bloody murder- becuz--hey- they were touching her, forcing her, holding her down, and she had not "done anything "wrong" in her mind. then as she does in full blown panic, she broke out in hideous horrendous hives, her blood pressure soared, she stopped breathing........and passed out. at which point they called me and complained to me that they had "an episode/incident" and they wanted to punish her. Yeesh. Go ahead and TRY to make them see- their rules and policies over the years contributed to this whole event.....nope, they refused to see it that way at all. <sigh>

    It makes me sad when I read and hear how it is just getting even worse.....and more and more schools are becoming this way.
  15. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    Oh oh oh-------and---
    when easy child was a mere 3 yrs old....she was in Headstart, in their homebased program, meaning her headstart teacher came to our house. once a week or once a month (I cannot remember how often it was) the kids all did go to one place together for all of them to be together, but all the other days they had school in their own homes. SO my little 3 yr old......her teacher was here....sitting at our kitchen table. They were doing schoolwork- and teacher told easy child to do something---when easy child finished, her teacher was daydreaming looking out our window at our yard. So easy child held her tiny little 3 yr old hand and set it on her teachers knee, and gave it a little jiggle- to get her teachers attention back at task at hand, becuz easy child tried to talk to teacher 3 times, but teacher was lost in thought and did not respond to PCs verbal cue.

    Imagine my horror? the next morning, CPS showed up at our door instead of headstart teacher. Teacher accused us/easy child of THAT being "sexually inappropriateness" and we had to undergo a full blown CPS investigation. At that point I told CPS I wanted the teacher investigated, becuz it was my opinion that if the teacher construed THAT as sexually inappropriate, then something was very worng with that teacher. Alas, CPS LOL @ me. CPS cleared us BUT the teacher refused to come back- altho that was OK becuz I would not have permitted her back here, anyway. Seems she had issues of her the no touch thing goes both ways here, and it begins even before public elem school.