Hug BanMonday, April 5, 2010
A Portland school recently banned hugging.
…the principal of West Sylvan Middle School, Allison Couch, issued the ban because the hugging was so disruptive that students could not pass each other in the hallway without a hug and were often late to classes because of a lengthy embrace. Sometimes students would run down the hall to meet a friend and hug, an action that some found intolerable. Additionally, there were reports of hugging being used as a form of mockery. In once instance, two eighth-grade girls hugged a seventh-grade boy, which was believed to be a mean-spirited way of hazing.
…It seems that it would be easier to enforce or perhaps modify “common sense” guidelines, including showing respect for classmates, teachers and staff while at school. It is possible that the students’ rambunctious behavior, bullying, and insincere hugs could be curtailed with punishments, such as detention.
I agree that some ‘hugging’ can indeed be mean, and a form of mockery. From a libertarian, non-aggression perspective, the important question isn’t brought up: is the hug invited and/or approved on the part of the person being hugged? If so, it’s a voluntary action to accept the hug and its consequences, even if the intention is mockery. If the person wards off an attempted hug, that is a message to the hugger that the action is not invited, and a further attempt at hugging – or grabbing/holding on to another person – is an act of aggression. Yet the article only stresses the importance of emotional expressions, and what would make the students (collectively) feel best.
Public schooling always = no emphasis on the individual. And most certainly, all emphasis is on feeling, not thinking.