Students protest North Carolina middle school’s ban on hugging
Forest City, NC, United States (4E) – A middle school in Forest City announced last week that students are not allowed to a friendly embrace because it is not an appropriate school behavior and now students are demonstrating against the rule.
The hug ban came to light after eighth-grader Parker Jackson, who suffered a seizure at school and was brought to the hospital, returned to school the following day and was greeted with plenty of hugs.
The assistant principal talked to the huggers the same day and told them that hugging is prohibited.
Jackson stated that the school official said that you all have no rights to that, even though you all think you do because it was very inappropriate. Students would get in-school suspension if teachers would catch them hugging.
That same night, a Facebook group was created by Jackson and his friends and they came to school the next day ready to give as many hugs in protest.
An employee for the Rutherford County School District superintendent’s office said that public displays of affection (PDA) were off limits.
The middle school policy handbook has no mention of “PDA,” only stating that it is prohibited to engage in “behavior which is immoral, indecent, lewd, disreputable or of an overly sexual nature in the school setting.”
The only remark about touching is when it comes to sexual harassment: “unauthorized and unwanted intentional touching, or attempt to touch, by one person of the sex organ of the other.”
Earlier this year, principals from New Jersey’s Matawan-Aberdeen Middle School and New York’s Brooklyn Prospect Charter School also issued a strict no hugging policy.