It is in poor taste, reflects poor judgment, and brings discredit

meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevationNovember 7, 2007

"Displays of affection should not occur on the school campus at any time. It is in poor taste, reflects poor judgment, and brings discredit to the school and to the persons involved."

A hug, they mean.

Did y'all hear about this story?!? Have we gone absolutely insane? Exactly what kind of discredit is brought about by a hug goodbye, I wonder?

Man, I've discredited schools all over the place for years now, then :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Detention for a hug

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Terry Crawford

I saw this in the newspaper also this a.m. The school officials are nuts! I've always been a hugger, and I've passed that trait along to my 21-year old daughter. Kids are bringing guns to school and they are worried about hugs. Here's another one for you....last week one of the local middle schools suspended a girl for having maroon braids in her hair. She can't return until she takes them out. She is an honor student too! Doesn't make sense to me.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 7:01PM
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pete41(9ab FL.)

Should have seen what we use to do up in the projection room.
Absolutely ridiculous how far they go.A little boy goes bang,bang and gets thrown out of school,meanwhile the teacher runs off with a thirteen year old.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 7:02PM
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Terry Crawford

Should have seen what our Home Ec teacher and Algebra teacher used to do in her home ec room...and it didn't have anything to do with baking biscuits. The 70's were great in high school. The same algebra teacher sent me to the principal's office for too much PDA in the school cafeteria...go figure. Great memories.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 7:35PM
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Wow could lead to hip hop square dancing or worse!

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 9:25PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

You think it was a hug because that is what the girl said? Two hugs. One before the teacher told them not to embrace, and one "in the face" of the teacher?

The entire school must follow the same rules that the School Board has decided upon. The parents ought to talk to the school instead of the press and then the School Board. Those rules are published, sent to the parents, and made very clear to every student. The 13 year old must follow the same rules that the 17 year old follows.

I take these rules very seriously. The child who laughs at and defies the small rules is the same one who would open the door during a lock down. If the parent fails to enforce the school rules, then the school will. We enforce them to provide for the safety of all students. Some of you ought to visit the schools, and see what it is like to get 36 kids to listen. The rules for 36 students in a room are different than the rules for 10.

We have 2500 students that are between 15 and 17 years of age. We work hard to make our school safe for all of the students. If you stop and look at this from the teacher's perspective, then think. We deal with 150 or more of our own kids every day. We lose our planning periods because we often must cover classes since there are no substitutes. We get 30 minutes for lunch, and that counts walking to and from the lunch room, and trying to take some time to go to the restroom. We work 8 hours straight including that 30 minute lunch. We have stacks of papers to grade, but we cannot grade papers while there are 36 kids in the room. Even in an advanced class, there are too many demands during class, so we take those papers home. A student breaks a rule, and must serve detention? We must stop what we are doing, deal with the sarcasm of the student and his friends, and write up the detention form. We must call the parents, and let them know about the detention so they can provide transportation. That means we must deal with the parents' wrath. (Both parents because the second one calls after we talk to the first one.) The angry parent then demands a conference - even though he has never before set foot in the school, so we must schedule a time before or after school to meet with the parents, counselor, and principal. All of this because one student hugged? I doubt it very much. That hug more than likely included a very sloppy kiss or inappropriate touch. Did the recipient of the hug consent? The school cannot talk, so we don't know. Therefore, those of you who are critical of the school's position think that any person walking down the hall can be hugged by any other person or persons? And exactly where do the arms and hands go during this innocent hug?

Everyone reading this is quite intelligent, and you should understand that we are working hard to protect these kids. We install cameras, we hire policemen to help us, we monitor the halls, and we have a School Board set up rules that we are expected to enforce. You might be thinking about the silly little things you did in school when you were young, but we are serious, and must worry about things that you should be thinking about. Kids should be taught to follow the rules, so if there is an Intruder on Campus alert, and we lock down the school, every student will remain quiet, and will not open the door, or reveal that we are in the room. Is a fire drill really a drill? It used to be, but now we may need to evacuate that building for other reasons, and we need the total cooperation of all the kids.

You ought to teach your kids to obey all the rules, or we will. If detention does not work, then we will suspend them. School isn't fun like some of you remember it, and it will be less fun every year as fewer and fewer people choose to teach.

I will stop now, but I could go on and on and on. I am not intending to pick on any of you, and don't remember who wrote what. I am upset that our world has come to this. The things I would really like to address would appear controversial, but they indicate the changes in the schools today.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 7:00AM
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Thanks, Sammy. I was a bit skeptical about the article. I thought that there must be more than was written in the paper. Why must we always blame the system, the schools, the teachers - can kids never be in the wrong any more? When I was a child, I got spanked in school once - and my parents never questioned the teacher's decision to spank me. (I was running in the cafeteria in the first grade). The kid who was giving the hug MUST have known not to do it after the first time - so maybe it was an act of defiance. I don't know - but I don't want to judge without the full story. Denise

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 12:12PM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

If the students had received some disproportionate punishment, I might be concerned, but I heard that all they got was an hour of detention for each hug--hardly the end of the world or the demise of American education. In the 7th grade, I got an hour of detention for talking too much in class--no big deal. Just got some homework done.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 2:04PM
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It is up to the parents to put the fear of retribution and removal into the hearts of the school board members who came up with this RIDICULOUS policy.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 2:50PM
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I think it is ridiculous too.

When I was in the work force there was a healthy bond between colleagues, of support and encouragement and it was often sealed with a hug.

Hell grown guys hug each other on the sports fields. I think it is abominable to me to take this natural human act and make it into something unsavoury.

Why should children be exempt from this.

I would like to see more important school policies in force. Watch out for the bullies, drugs, the alcohol, course language and devious looking kids that may potentinally have a psychological problem and could put others in their school in danger.

Sammy, I understand and agree with most of your post, and can see how frustrating a lot of school problems can be, but this particular policy seems to have gone a bit too far. IMHO.

Pauline - Vancouver Island

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 5:03PM
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dirt_yfingernails(z3-4 MN)

If it was just a hug, it wasn't that bad, but I've seen kids at school dances practically making out on the dance floor in front of everyone.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 10:07AM
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I have to agree with Sammy. The situation reported on may be totally innocent, but rules are established to protect ALL of our students. My oldest daughter is 5'9", weighs around 120, is very blond, and very pretty. Several of the adults she went to Europe with this summer, whom she had never met before, told me at the airport after the trip how much she reminds them of Nicole Kidman. Although she dresses very conservatively (but classily), she is constantly having to put up with "innocent hugs" (yeah, right) from boys that barely know her. If our school had such a policy, and the administration with the guts to enforce it, her life would be a lot easier. As it is, she is taking martial arts to learn how to effectively deal with those "innocent hugs" on her own.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 11:22AM
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I guess there are other ways of looking at it and judging by the story told, it "seems" that it was an innocent hug.

I think what I do not like is how the policy is worded:

"Displays of affection should not occur on the school campus at any time. It is in poor taste, reflects poor judgment, and brings discredit to the school and to the persons involved."

There should be room to define an innocent hug, which is given to a friend who is emotionally or physically hurt, or a hug before a school break for eg. and that of an emotional display of obsessive affecton.

It is not as if the parents of this child are going AGAINST this policy by allowing the child to not do the detentions, they are encouraging this, but they have an objection to the policy and would like to see it changed.

It would be interesting to hear a child psychologist's view on this.

All have a great weekend, especially the educators here, I know it's tough world out there but I am sure our "rosy" teachers are doing a great job.

Pauline - Vancouver Island

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 1:41PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

I think the biggest problem with our responses is that most of us see our own situations, and hate rules that interfere with our lives.

Our adorable beloved Meredith started the thread, and as a student has probably never noticed the students that I see in our hallways. What many of you with good kids think of as innocent, is not what I see. I see an unnecessary hug that is intended to stop the traffic as people try to move from one class to the next in the Commons. I see kids stopping in the middle of the stairway to talk to their friends. And one thing I hate the most is a girl who will burst over to where the boys are sitting and talking, and will land on a boy's lap to hug him. I see it happening to extroverted boys, but that is something I don't like to see in my classroom.

I don't think 13 year old kids need to hug their friends goodbye.

I receive many phone calls where parents want to hear my side of the story. Then they laugh, and say that is not at all what their child said, but they will handle this situation. Often when I have good contact with the parent, I just offer to throw away the Detention. The parent is in control, and that is fine with me.

Did you notice that the Superintendant is the one to makek a statement to the press. I would be willing to bet that the parents never spoke with the teacher who did not like the hug. How could a teacher care anyway? We have our lives, and don't want to bother with such matters. I also wonder if the teacher was a 1st or 2nd year teacher. In the beginning we make so many errors in judgment that we do not make later.

Meredith is wonderful, and the educational structure has hurt her. I understand where she is coming from. But our principals spend much of the summer in training because we are so concerned about the safety of our kids. They return to the school with policy suggestions that would be laughed out of the school when I was young. One example is that when you pick up your kids from the school, you come into the building, sign them out, and the secretary checks to see if you have the authority to check them out.

We had an Intruder on Campus drill a couple of weeks ago. I locked the door, made the kids go to a side of the room where they could not be seen, and turned out the light. There was a knock on the door. I did nothing. They whispered that someone could need help, but I didn't move. There was a second knock, then someone pounded on the door. I did nothing. Later I found out that the Principals and security guard were going up and down the halls trying to see who would open the door.

We really love those kids, and want to do our best to protect them. Around here we really love Meredith, and feel very bad that she had been mistreated by her school.


    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 5:10PM
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Sammy, Thank you for explaining this from a teacher's point of view. I really do understand how it is becoming more & more difficult to be a teacher these days. It has been many years since I have had children in school and there have certainly been a lot of changes. Though that could change soon if we get Legal guardianship of our grandson.

Did you hear on the news today in Finland a student had open fire and killed 8 people in his school. I cannot imagine this type of thing happening years ago, but it certainly has kept cropping up over the past 15 years. I do not think I will ever really understand what gets into these kids.

You proved a winner in the safety drill for sure. I bet when you started teaching you never expected this would be the steps to take at a mere knock on the classroom door.

Enjoy your weekened Sammy.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 8:51PM
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Excellent points Sammy. I didn't see it that way, so thanks for your perspective on this. Some of those
kids want you to believe that they won't see their
friends for another year. Give me a brake Kids! Thanks
again Sammy.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 10:56PM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

Thanks so much for the sweet words, Sammy :) My issue with my school now is so dissimilar to this, actually... I agree that high school and younger kids need more rules [different, anyway]

I have to admit though, in my schools or at least my classes, we were very known by our teachers and administrators, and so a simple hug or two would certainly go unpunished. That may not have been true for kids who did not have any bond with the adults there, but we really were "Good Kids" and I'm glad that we 'earned' some leeway.

The saddest thing to me is that kids can't be known by their teachers and staff if the classes are too big, etc. We learned a lot more than facts in school, and I'm afraid that too many rules will leave kids having no idea how to handle situations later in life, where there isn't a rule for every hug ;)

I do understand and thank teachers who try their best in the midst of a practical zoo... Trying to keep order with too many folks put together is bad enough with adults!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2007 at 6:54PM
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No wonder so many Americans are so touch deprived ;-(

Here is a link that might be useful: Free Hugs

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 9:13PM
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Cool!! Thanks. :)

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 9:40PM
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((((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))) to you Pauline!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2007 at 9:48PM
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harryshoe zone6 eastern Pennsylvania

The problem here is not that the school board wants to outlaw friendly hugs. "Public displays of affection" distract students from their primary mission in school. It is a problem that students today hug, kiss, grope and even have intercourse in the school. Someone has to write a policy that effectively puts an end to this behavior. A small group of teachers and administrators has to enforce the policy. If you want to cover every possible eventuality, the policy becomes the size of a phone book and thus, unenforceable and ineffective. So all displays of affection are out. Don't blame the school, blame the parents of the students.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 7:30AM
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Agree with Harry and I also have several friends that are teachers. The real issue that the schools face today are parents that don't or won't parent and the threat of lawsuits when something happens that a parent feels should not have happened at school. The problem with PDA and any hugging can be construed as sexual harassment or just plain harassment by the receiver. Some receivers may go along with it quietly and then file the charges because to do otherwise would bring more unwanted attention. So a lot of rules and regs while they seem picky are done to protect everyone.

To be honest there have been some work situations where I think a no hug zone should apply as well. If you haven't been in that situation be thankful. :)

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 1:23PM
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In Cambodia the Khmer rough separated the children from their families and tought them that "connections" and "affection" were weak. Many were killed for showing affection. Americans and their institutions never seem to learn from history.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 2:12PM
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Thank you kenzen for pointing out that it's about the "control" issues of people who shouldn't be in control--and not about the kids.

Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.


    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 4:49PM
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