Last week, a Georgia middle school student took it upon herself to console another student when she was visibly upset by giving her a hug. The innocent act of compassion, however, was viewed by the school very differently. They reprimanding the student.
The compassionate girl who gave the hug was written up, her actions were deemed a “level one offense” and an inappropriate display of affection by Villa Rica Middle School.
“My daughter has never been in trouble at school, until today,” the girl’s mother posted on Facebook.
Should HUGGING in school be against the rules? A local mom is upset her daughter got in trouble for comforting a sad classmate, but the school says ANY physical contact is against the rules. What do you think? 11Alive
Posted by Kaitlyn Ross 11Alive on Tuesday, November 20, 2018
The Carroll County School System has yet to comment on the case, but according to local Atlanta news station 11Alive, they referred them to their school district’s student handbook, which specifically outlaws public displays of affection between students. The handbook does not outline punishment, but simply states that a student can get charged with anything from a warning to a suspension.
11Alive also approached other school districts in the Atlanta area to see if they had similar policies. Gwinnett County Public Schools and Atlanta Public Schools had policies against sexual harassment and battery and “excessive” public displays of affection, but neither outlawed hugging.
11Alive took to Facebook, asking the question “should HUGGING in school be against the rules?”
As you can imagine the video received comments from both sides, each with firm opinions.
“I think it’s crap. How about they focus more on bullying?” one commenter responded.
Another said: “I think it’s sad when we can’t comfort someone in school or at work but we have become a society of everything is offensive and or sexual harassment. Parents don’t want other kids touching their kids and God forbid a teacher tried. This is the world we have created.”
One user argued that taking love out of the schools is partially what is wrong with the world: “Taking love and compassion out of the world only leads to more of what we are witnessing every single day… a total disregard for our fellow man…”
“So let’s teach our kids not to be empathetic towards others. Ridiculous. How about we teach our kids to have compassion for each other instead of punishing them for something like this,” another Facebook commenter wrote.
Conversely, one user wrote: “The purpose of this policy is not to take away affection, compassion or empathy. If the schools allowed physical contact of any form it creates situations that are not appropriate at school. Unfortunately, there is no way the school staff can constantly police the kids to determine what hug is innocent from an inappropriate touch. Best policy is to forbid touching of any kind.”
What do you think?