HUGGING has been banned at one primary school.
Yes, you read that correctly!
The Herald Sun reports, St Patricks Primary School principal John Grant said “nothing in particular” had caused the ban on hugging at the Geelong West school.
“But in this current day and age we are really conscious about protecting kids and teaching them from a young age that you have to be cautious,” Mr Grant said.
He said he had spoken to teachers about his decision to ban hugging and then the teachers had spoken to classes, instructing the children on different methods of showing affection. He had not sent any correspondence home to parents but said there would now be a letter going home on Monday.
“There’s a range of methods including a high five or a particular knuckle handshake where they clunk knuckles as a simple way of saying ‘well done’,” Mr Grant said. “There are also verbal affirmations and acknowledgments.”
Children at the school have been enthusiastic huggers, he said, with hugs given out to teachers and other children.
“We have a lot of kids who walk up and hug each other and we’re trying to encourage all of us to respect personal space,” Mr Grant said. “It really comes back to not everyone is comfortable in being hugged.”
Mr Grant said teachers would be sensitive in the adoption of the new rule.
“It’s not as if they’d be punished if they were hugging each other in the yard,” Mr Grant said. “They’ll be simply asked to respect each other’s personal space.”
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