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Hugs vs. sexual advances or harrassment are not the same thing. So, I am unclear why there is a problem with hugs. Hugs are a sign of affection for another human being. Creating calmness and an intimacy that is innocent. Children that are "hugging" because they are being sexual is not what hugs are about. I think our society gets quite confused and put labels on ideals that humans need to nourish and grow into caring individuals. There are a few that taint these ideals and should not be able to dictate for the rest of society...they are the minority. So while I agree, between classes students need to move on to the next class in less than 5 minutes, teachers need to keep the student flow moving onto the next class and keeping clear that this is school and not the "date" session-a quick hug is quite healthy and natural and INNOCENT.
What is going on in a society which passes laws and rules to regulate behavior to this minute degree? It's amazing to me that we cannot teach children to respect authority and that that authority is not free to admonish inappropriate behavior as necessary. Honestly, are we going to be regulating how long a bathroom break can take (probably some already do)? Let's get to the root of the problem and that is a lack of respect for self and authority and the neutering of said authority. I am a parent and I would hope that someone in authority would be looking out for and guiding my child in appropriate behavior should it become necessary, without the need for reference to a rule book. This is simply common sense surely. My view, leave rules where they belong, for safety, and teach (not just in school but at home too) respect for self, others and those in authority.
Are school bans on hugging justified? As a junior high school teacher my answer is a resounding "yes"! As students pass each other in the halls the traffic flow of pre-pubescents suddenly becomes a cascade of dominos when girls stop to hug each other. I know it's been a whole 53 minutes since they've seen each other; the separation must have been unbearable! My facetious scenario, unfortunately, is not that far from the truth. Nevermind the larger issue of young people making physical conduct while teachers who are supposed to be monitoring the hall, look on. I become the great adjudicator of wanted and unwanted touching between students. "Better a little chiding than a great deal of heartbreak." (Shakespeare)
What is going on in a society which passes laws and rules to regulate behavior to this minute degree? It's amazing to me that we cannot teach children to respect authority and that that authority is not free to admonish inappropriate behavior as necessary. Honestly, are we going to be regulating how long a bathroom break can take (probably some already do)? Let's get to the root of the problem and that is a lack of respect for authority and the neutering of said authority.
Adolescents have raging hormones and love to test boundaries. I have witnessed the teen hugging thing in ways which made me uncomfortable for various reasons. Parents put their children in our care and trust we will keep them safe. Hugs are wonderful things and I am blessed to get a great hug at least once a day. I know of many students who are less fortunate. No situation is black or white. Each school should have the opportunity to decide what is best for their culture without the fear of being judged as non- caring.
According to Campbell and Chatman, Physical touch is one of the five love languages that children speak. The authors assert that "... A child learns more effectively if his teacher understands and speaks his love language..."
Sometimes, all these kids need is a loving and warm personality to brighten their day.
I'm a big fan of affection too, Alfredo. But, it's a slippery slope with students who hug, for example, with hands on the rears of their friends, or near breasts. Would that be acceptable to you? Would you be willing to speak to the parent of a girl being handled in this way (or a boy?) This doesn't even address the challenge of hugs "stopping traffic" as expressed in this article. Food for thought.
Something is wrong in this country. It scares me that 50% can even thing that we should regulate affection. I must pack and go back to Europe. America is not a safe place anymore.