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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

From the weird world files...

Check out this story: One kid half-hugs two other kids. Result: 2 days of detention at Mascoutah Middle School. Here's why:

District Superintendent Sam McGowen said that he thinks the penalty is fair and that administrators in the school east of St. Louis were following policy in the student handbook.

It states: "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."

Is it just me or does this seem like a profoundly odd policy? I can imagine some hugs being unwelcome but the idea that hugging one another categorically brings discredit to the school and the persons involved needs reassessment.  But as those of you who know me as an inveterate hugger, perhaps I'm just a bit sensitive here. (H/t: one of my unnamed colleagues who I tend to hug too much.)

Posted by Administrators on November 7, 2007 at 04:38 PM in Odd World | Permalink


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Maybe its a cultural thing. I went to secondary school in Miami and in upstate New York. In Miami, this rule would have resulted in half the school being suspended on a given day--even non-hispanics in Miami tend to follow Latin touchy-feely greetings. In the heavily WASPy school that I attended in New York, it would not have had much of an impact.

Posted by: Bart | Nov 13, 2007 2:43:41 PM

Soon just drawing a picture of a hug will be enough to get you expelled ... like with guns.

Posted by: Rich Paul | Nov 8, 2007 12:47:11 AM

Indeed, displays of affection are today's "vehicles in the park."

Posted by: Dan Markel | Nov 7, 2007 5:42:20 PM

I think the intent of the policy was to prevent kids from making out in the halls... which is in poor taste. Well, maybe not to the kids, but certainly adults.

Alas, the committee reports are lost. No matter, McGowen appears to be a strict constructionist.

Posted by: Dave! | Nov 7, 2007 5:37:10 PM

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