Great moments in education: NJ school bans hugging


The latest policy at Matawan-Aberdeen Middle School has become a cause of concern for some parents, CBS New York reports.

A ban on hugging in the school was issued by the school’s principal last week via loudspeaker following what was seen as an excessive amount of hugging and physical contact by sixth and eighth graders, CBS reported.

The district says Matawan-Aberdeen Middle School Principal Tyler Blackmore made an announcement that students were in a “no hugging school” following some “incidents of unsuitable, physical interactions.”

School Superintendent David Healy says the district has the responsibility to teach children about appropriate interactions.

The superintendent says despite the rule, students who hug will not be suspended.


  1. The seventh-graders must be shaking their heads.

  2. Funny how it probably never occured to any of these sages that if they didn’t sexualalize our kids, there wouldn’t BE an “innappropiate hugging problem.”

    There is simply no limit as to what in our human behavior we can “misuse”, espeically all that is good.

  3. Fiergenholt says:

    –All of my kids — now grown adults — were in the “Teen Theater” component of our local Community Theater. “Hugging” was a common expression of support and friendship everytime all of them met — and that was twenty years ago!

    –And have I missed something. Isn’t is this is also a common sign of friendship and bonding among a lot of contemporary teen-age athletic teams?

    I agree with KLAIRE here (for maybe the first time) !

  4. So — all are punished for the transgressions of a few? Very poor decision.

    If a classroom teacher punished an entire classs for the poor behavior (talking, cheating, swearing, etc) of the student in the third row, fourth seat, parents of the other students would rightly be upset.

    Children hug, always have, always will. And I say this as a 37 year education employee — teacher, counselor, dean of discipline, assistant principal — in public and Catholic schools. I worked middle schools 31 of those years.

  5. Oh man. I run the risk of sounding like a prude, or perhaps insensitive…but…
    I just don’t think that this is a terrible idea. I would hope that my children would attend a Catholic school that had similar intuitions about such things. Then again, those intuitions are probably different than those who promulgated this edict…
    I don’t really know how I could state my argument in a way that would sound at all palatable to contemporary sensibilities…

  6. Very strange. I wonder if there is more context than has been let on.

  7. Joe Cleary says:

    Seriously I saw the headline and thought for sure it was referencing hugging between teachers and students.

    Between middle school students in all circumstances? Why, because a few students didn’t leave room for the Holy Spirit?


  8. I am reminded of GKC’s quip, “Disregard the Big Laws long enough, and what you get is a lot of little laws.”

  9. I’m usually a raging liberal, but I’m also a middle school teacher. In my experience, the hugging truly is out of control and just not appropriate in a school setting. I can totally understand this rule. The picture accompanying the article is of two girls hugging…they’re not the problem. It’s the gratuitous boy-girl hugging that starts to push the limits.

  10. Does the school nurse give them condoms?

  11. I can top that.

    The liberal NY City Department of Education has banned mentioning dinosaurs, diseases, birthdays, poverty, wealth, Halloween, dance, and myriad of other subjects to students on tests.

  12. Of course not. We’re a good Catholic school. We teach abstinence and issue threats of hell. Yet for some reason, they keep hugging!

  13. That’s it exactly!

  14. Bill Kelly says:

    It is a sick adult who sees things “sexual” in the behavior of children. Things make my case for the idea that we need to select adults for teachers and people who have these kinds of ideas should be working in another field. God Help us.

  15. Middle school kids are 13-14 years old and a distressing number of them are sexually active. We’re not talking 1st or 2nd graders.

  16. This is my fond memory of my first day at school. The nun greeted us individually. As we entered the classroom, she knelt down on the floor, then said: “Welcome to first grade” and gave each of us a hug and kiss.

  17. Mark Greta says:

    Great. As an adult male born in the 1930′s, it took me about 40 years to learn to hug someone. Now they want to ban it? All through school and at home growing up, our parents tried to bash the self love self esteem out of us so we could grow in humility not pride. Then someone decided self esteem was the missing ingredient that should be a focus in schools. I finally get a cell phone and learn how to use it and then they build them into electronic swiss army knives. My bank is fighting me to bank on line and talking about punishing me with fees or forcing me to wear a hairshirt and enter the bank only if I agree to yell “unclean” first.

    I am claiming old age and anyone retirement age is excempt from changes. No wonder old people often get so damn cranky. Not sure why I have to get on facebook and select LIKE to get my discount from my favorite resturant from now on. Told the manager he needs to simply give those who eat before 5pm the damn discounts and not even mention Facebook or face a senior moment picket line.

  18. You gave me some great chuckles there, Mark… *like*

    You & your family remain in my prayers.

Leave a Comment