Two weeks ago a 13-year-old girl was given two days of after-school detention after school administrators saw her giving a hug to a friend after school.
Her principal claims to have warned her about the “inappropriate display of affection” previously at a football game. The school’s policy says that “displays of affection should not occur on the campus at any time,” but hugging should be the least of their worries. Considering something as simple as a hug being an inappropriate PDA would mean that a pat on the back or holding hands are means for discipline. This is ridiculous.If anyone should get detention, it should be the official that put this rule into effect in the first place.
It’s depressing that an action these students consider a way of comfort is being added to the continuous list of what not to do. A 5-year-old boy was charged with sexual assault for hugging his friend. Why should young, innocent children be punished for something every child is taught as a form of love and friendship? All children should know that it is the right thing to love, care, and show emotion toward those you care about. The young preschool children aren’t making out in a hallway, they are just having fun.
The line has been drawn too thick. The intended effect of school officials that enforce these rules are doing the opposite of what they say their objective is. They want children to be civilized and nice to others, but if they are punishing a child every time they give a friend a pat on the back or a hug, they are doing it all wronganddamaging the kids’ futures. The zero tolerance course of action is being taken too seriously, and those who enforce it are not thinking about others, but themselves and their own beliefs.
Elementary level schools have been firm in their decision to punish anyone for doing anything close to what is against the rules, almost to the point that hugging a friend and spitting in someone’s face will have the same punishment. They are teaching these children that it is okay to judge people and society based on one specific statement made by an authority.
There are young teens and children walking around with shirts they say things like “Free Hugs!” I hope the children who see that will realize those shirts and the action are not the same as a slogan promoting drugs, but a chance to make a friend.