In an attempt to keep students from engaging in “unsuitable, physical interactions,” Tyler Blackmore, the principal at Matawan-Aberdeen Middle School in New Jersey, passed a new rule, which forbids the 900 students who attend the school from hugging each other. Yes, that’s right, the middle school is now a “no hugging school.”
Matawan-Aberdeen Middle School isn’t the first school to institute such a rule, but they are certainly receiving quite a lot of attention for it. They are also the only school in their district to institute such a rule, but the school superintendent David Healy is supporting them. Healy has said that the school has the responsibility to teach students about proper behavior and that the principal has acted responsibly.
“There is no policy specific to hugging, and we have, nor will we be, suspending students for hugging,” Healy said. “It is unfortunate that there are those who find purpose and humor in sensationalizing such a routine school-related issue at the expense and inconvenience of our children and our school community.”
In 2010, West Sylcan Middle School in Portland, Oregan also banned hugging in its classrooms because the principal claimed the affectionate act had “become a disruption and even a bullying mechanism.”
“I was observing students hugging other students and the other students didn’t feel comfortable,” Allison Couch, the principal at this school, said.
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