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Hug Police

Alan kindly sent me a link to another story about banning hugs in school.

According to the Associated Press story, a 13-year-old girl got two days' detention for hugging one of her friends at school. Her middle school, in Mascoutah, Ill. has banned public displays of affection.

Yes, that means all displays and all kinds of affection.

This ban may be state-wide, because this incident follows another one in Oak Park, Ill.

Reading the comments to the news story bring out all the points of view and nuances of this issue. In a society which seems to have lost a common understanding of what's appropriate and what's not, we tend to default to forbidding wide swaths of behavior.

In this case, the ban on PDAs probably was  a response to kids engaging in serious make-out sessions (or whatever the kids call them these days). Leaving it to teachers' discretion on what goes too far would open the school to complaints about discrimination -- and possibly open the kids to discrimination from the teachers.

It's a sad state, but I don't blame this all on the school district.