Phi Beta Cons

Hug Bans

FIRE rose up to fight speech codes and the like on campuses. But it appears high time for it or a similar organization to challenge the often-ridiculous repression at the K-12 level — of which a prime example is recounted by Deborah Langbert.

First came a ban on hugs and high-fives at a Fairfax County, Va., middle school. Why? Because a 13-year-old male student put his arm around his girlfriend while walking down the school hall.
This year, the Mesa, Ariz., school district also instituted a hug ban. In the wake of protest — a fulsome 20-minute hug-a-thon across the street from school — ingenious school officials tried to cut a deal with students that permitted hugs of two seconds or less in duration.
And there it is, the next pitched battle on the horizon, the battle against hugging codes.

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