by Emi F '09

I Heart Hugs

Megan Coulter, a thirteen year old girl, attends the Mascoutah Middle School in Mascoutah Illinois. It just so happens that a little over three weeks ago she was caught hugging two friends and was sent to two days detention. Megan and her parents were both equally infuriated by this preposterous rule but complied with Megan’s punishment of two days detention. Though no signs of impertinence were recorded the final verdict will be defined by the next board meeting which they plan on attending.


Stumbling upon the article by MSNBC, I was com­pletely awestruck at the absurdity of the school’s restrictions nowadays. It is ironic that while kids are smuggling guns into schools, dealing drugs inside the halls, and doing other outrageous things in schools, officials make restrictions on the most harmless of things: hugs. Though it can be under­stood that hugging is an act that can ostensibly be a sign of affection that some elders disapprove of, hugging is too common and harmless of an action to take complete blame for what some people call signs of sexual harassment. It must be established that hugging is optional and is something done innocently by students.


I mean we go to a school that has “Be Kind” as one of our habits of conduct, and for many it is hard to be kind without mak­ing some kind of physical embrace or sign of ap­preciation. Is this wrong? No, not unless it is taken to a point where a person feels uncomfortable. In this case, if a person feels uncomfortable around a certain someone because of the way they touch them or talk to them, then it is their responsibility to speak to the guidance councilor or the principal about what could be sexual harassment.


While hugging is a simple action done thoughtlessly by students worldwide, it is our duty to comply with our school standards. To this day it has not been stated that BSGE has any problem with hugging, thank God, because if it were so we would have the whole school in detention almost every day. At the same time, if any rule like this were announced what do you think would happen to our school? Would we all become cold, unaffec­tionate people?


By Mr. Lakhaney

TOK Teacher

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