Girls Plan “Hug In” to Protest School’s Anti-Hug Policy

Hi Folks!  I want to give these erktbrrkbr
a hug! They’re four friends, 12 and 13, who have organized a “Hug In” at their school, where the motto is, “No loving, no shoving.” A motto that makes about as much sense as, “No saving, no shooting.”

Ah, but ostensibly the unofficial rule is to “help” students by protecting them from shoving and unwanted touching. So wouldn’t a  “No shoving, no unwanted touching” rule be a lot more helpful?

Instead, the specter of Zero Tolerance reared its unlovable head, and  friendly hugs got swept into the mix. The administrators insist they CAN tell the difference between nice hugs and “bad” ones, and that they do not actually outlaw all hugging. But the girls say they’ve been reprimanded for walking arm in arm. And after they announced their Hug In, they got sent to the principal’s office, where they had to stay the rest of the day.

The best quote about this whole issue comes not from the girls, but from the newspaper — shout out to The Toronto Star! — which added, “There were some concerns that a public invitation for a ‘hug in’ at a middle school could pose safety issues.”

Gotta love a society that can worry about the safety of hugging.

June 20 is the date of the Hug In and the time is lunch period. Here’s hoping it’s hug-e. (You know — huge.) L.

I will not hug. I will not hug. I will not…

27 Responses to Girls Plan “Hug In” to Protest School’s Anti-Hug Policy

  1. mollie June 8, 2012 at 12:58 am #

    Pssst… adults… when you draw more attention to something by forbidding it, kids tend to be more intrigued by it… the best course is deal with whatever comes up on a case-by-case basis…

  2. kevinhallinfinite June 8, 2012 at 1:18 am #

    I like the policy. I think it’s catchy and memorable, which makes it easier for kids to remember. They should make all the rules this way. “No writing, no biting” would be a good example. So what if we give up on written language? Biting is bad. Also, “no reading, no bleeding” to avoid blood borne illnesses spreading. I see a lot of good coming of this new, catchier trend in forming rule pairs.

  3. Andy June 8, 2012 at 1:34 am #

    Do the girls still intend to protest? I’d go join the hug in, but that would be creepy.

  4. Heather G June 8, 2012 at 2:16 am #

    I love that out of the 19 comments on the original article only two are in support of the ban on hugging. One seems to be from a school employee who seems to *really* need a vacation and the other from someone who thinks any disagreement with authority is acting disrespectful and entitled.

  5. optimetogata June 8, 2012 at 2:23 am #

    Remember the school that banned physical contact a year and a half ago, and the girl who petitioned? I was that girl. It appears my successors have been anointed!

  6. Mike June 8, 2012 at 2:50 am #

    Maybe they could hug some of the administrators.

  7. Ben June 8, 2012 at 3:36 am #

    “But the girls say they’ve been reprimanded for walking arm in arm.” I don’t see any unwanted touching… Is this one of those cases where a rule has been established based on bad grammar as in “unwanted by the school administration” instead of “unwanted by the person being touched”?

  8. Mike in Virginia June 8, 2012 at 3:41 am #

    Are we sure the administrators aren’t homophobic? When they say they can tell the difference between a “good hug” and a “bad hug,” that leaves a lot for interpretation. Its bad policy regardless of the reason, and there is never anything wrong with kids just hugging, regardless of their sex, but with so much attention on “gay agendas” and whatnot, I can’t help but wonder.

  9. Ra-chan (@musicchan) June 8, 2012 at 3:53 am #

    Oh Toronto Star…..*sighs* Always covering news in the most sensationalist way possible.

    I hope the hug-in works though and people stop getting all paranoid about things that don’t need to be over-thought.

  10. Havva June 8, 2012 at 6:01 am #

    My daughter’s ‘school’ has concerns about the safety of hugging. But then again my daughter is a toddler who has a tendency to knock her friends down when she hugs. They just encourage safe huging. Glad that gem came from the newspaper and not the school.

  11. Huggable Spiny Norman June 8, 2012 at 6:26 am #

    What about the comfy chair?

    /My God, these people think Monty Python is an instruction manual!

  12. Lollipoplover June 8, 2012 at 6:47 am #

    The Hug-In reminds me of my favorite Shel Silverstein poem, hug o’war

    I will not play at tug o’ war

    I’d rather play at hug o’ war,

    Where everyone hugs

    Instead of tugs

    Where everyone giggles

    And rolls on the rug,

    Where everyone kisses

    And everyone grins

    And everyone cuddles

    And everyone wins.

  13. sylvia_rachel June 8, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    I saw that on the front page at the subway station today. Feh. I mean, I could maybe see banning French kissing in the school hallways (although I think that would be stupid, because they’ll just find somewhere more private to make out), but banning hugging? In middle school? Sheesh.

  14. Enrichment Class for Kids June 8, 2012 at 10:20 am #

    Well you can actually tell the bad hug and the good hug apart … your micro expression, your signal of intent, the tightness of the hug indicate alot of thing, even the way you hold your palm when you hug.

    But this indicators not necessarily means one is bad though. One can have desire to do something bad, but they might not always do it due to alot other aspects.

    Not sure what this program trying to achieve but its a good program nonetheless

  15. Jenna June 8, 2012 at 10:26 am #

    I’ve thought about this for a few minutes but can’t for the life of me figure out what a “bad” hug is. Unless they’re talking about groping or sexual contact, which wouldn’t be termed “hugging” anyway, I really don’t see that there is such a thing as a “bad” hug.

  16. Nicholas June 8, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

    This sounds like a homophobic reaction to me, piggybacked on a more subtle potential ‘threat’ to sound less controversial. Sad…

    Though it does make me think of my elder child. No matter how much we instruct her, and she’s very quick to learn most other subjects, she still doesn’t seem to have gotten the idea of ‘personal space’. She just relies too much on tactile feedback, I guess. I wonder what the incident was that started this no hugging policy and if it involved some unintentional insult-by-touch ™.

  17. pentamom June 8, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

    “I’ve thought about this for a few minutes but can’t for the life of me figure out what a “bad” hug is. Unless they’re talking about groping or sexual contact, which wouldn’t be termed “hugging” anyway, I really don’t see that there is such a thing as a “bad” hug.”

    I can *imagine* a form of bullying where kids grab and squeeze one another — obviously not highly physical harmful but it could be a creative form of tormenting if it’s persistent and unwanted. I have no idea, though, if that’s what’s intended here.

  18. EricS June 8, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

    Hug away! Hug away! There is no law against hugging. Maybe these kids can rally up other students, and get the media involve to show the rest of the community, and the world, what ignorance is being enforced in our schools. What unfounded and unnecessary rules are being implemented by so called educators. I still believe that educators need to do psyche evaluation before getting their certification. I personally wouldn’t someone with underling paranoia and dominating issues. IMO, educators should be some of the most balanced people around. Not crazy anxious and fearful like these fools.

  19. Monica Jones (@Dirty_Hooker) June 9, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

    I find it odd that schools even need a rule against hugging. I don’t remember hugging being a big thing in my school. We just didn’t touch each other much.

  20. ifsogirl June 12, 2012 at 12:38 am #

    Ok so yes there are bad hugs. I was the victim of a few in the years between grades 8 to 10. These are unwanted forced hugs. Boys deciding to hug you after you’ve said no, or letting their hands “slip” during a hug. These types of hugs were followed up by a how dare you and anger. It was very much known it was not acceptable by anyone’s standards.

    We didn’t need the school’s to police it. If it kept happening THEN we would talk to the administration. I can say this didn’t happen often, was usually done by the same few boys that thought it was funny, and was quickly stopped when it was obvious the boy was going to end up getting ostrasized by other students.

    Waliking arm in arm with either sex was still acceptable to admin, so was hugging, as long as it didn’t become sexual. Girls sat in boy’s laps, and other signs of affection were shown.

  21. Janna June 13, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    Thank you so much for covering this. It made my day 😀 I’m one of the girls running the thing, by the way 🙂

  22. Joh. Friedrich June 13, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    ANY teacher or principal who cannot tell the difference between a hug and unwanted or sexual touching should not be paid our good money to teach. Compassionate hugging should be encouraged in the interest of preventing physical violence, which is certainly unwanted touching. Joh. Friedrich, Lilly’s OPA

  23. Catherine June 14, 2012 at 10:54 am #

    First the hugs, now its the high fives!

  24. KC June 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm #

    @Catherine, Oh I just saw that too ….it’s ludicrous but I blame paranoid parents for creating an atmosphere of fear. School administrators feel the need to implement over-the-top rules so that nothing will happen, so that parents won’t accuse the teachers of being negligent etc…

  25. Sandy Elder June 21, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    This is absolutely ” Ludicrous !” In a world where the majority of our youth are “angry ” or ” depressed” this is the last thing to ever think of banning. There is a black and white difference from a ” good hug” “and a “bad hug”
    The administration at that school should be focusing on more important issues. ” I say ” Hug don’t Mug !”
    You go girls !! You have our hugging support from The Elder family in Whitby! Here’s a another great saying” Don’t do drugs give a hug!”

    You have hugging support from The Elder family and their eight felines even get hugs!

    Hugs from .
    Whitby Ontario


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