no hug zone
Over the last couple of years I’ve noticed what I think is an increasing trend with teens. It’s the “I have to hug everyone I know, even if I don’t know them very well.”
This apparently is something people smarter than me have also noticed. You can read a great article on this trend from the Chicago Tribune. From the article,
“A half-dozen students interviewed in Oak Park said that hugging comes naturally to them, and that many girls and some boys have been hugging since grade school. None knew where the hugging trend came from, and some expressed surprise that their parents didn’t hug their classmates in the ’70s and ’80s.”
But to add to all of this there was a girl in Mascouth, IL who received two detentions for breaking the school’s “No PDA” policy when she hugged a friend goodbye. Does this seem a bit extreme to anybody else? Two detentions? Did she even get a warning? On Dvorak’s blog, he suggests that this is really just a way for the school to try to protect itself from a sexual harassment case. Instead of really caring about how the kids interact, it’s really just a way to protect themselves. He’s probably right.
Anyway, I hope parents take opportunities to talk with their teens and explain to them how to properly interact with others (more than just the hugging issue) in public and in private. Schools shouldn’t have to enforce ridiculous punishment (though two detentions is hardly cruel) on students who are living within the social mores they understand and accept. It’s pretty clear that this girl doesn’t understand the punishment. This is probably because hugging is a non-issue to her. It’s just something you do when you say bye to a friend. This doesn’t make it right or acceptable, but it doesn’t seem like the school cares too much about that. No, they’d rather have her serve her detentions than “kiss (or hug) and make up.”