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June 20, 2007

School touching ban to be strictly enforced: 'No high-fives'

That's right.

Kilmer Middle School in Vienna, Virginia (a Washington, D.C. suburb) has instituted a prohibition against any and all physical contact "so strict that students can be sent to the principal's office for hugging, holding hands or even high-fiving."

Yesterday's Associated Press story has the details, and follows.

    Fairfax School Bans All Touching

    A rule against physical contact at a Fairfax County middle school is so strict that students can be sent to the principal's office for hugging, holding hands or high-fiving.

    Some Washington-area schools ban fighting or inappropriate touching, but Kilmer Middle School in Vienna bans all touching. Some parents are lobbying for a change.

    Hugging was Hal Beaulieu's crime when he sat next to his girlfriend at lunch a few months ago and put his arm around her shoulder.

    He was given a warning but told that repeat missteps could lead to detention.

    "I think hugging is a good thing," said Hal, a seventh-grader. "I put my arm around her. It was like for 15 seconds. I didn't think it would be a big deal."

    But at a school of 1,100 students that was meant to accommodate 850, school officials believe some touching can turn into a big deal.

    They have seen pokes lead to fights, gang signs in the form of handshakes, or girls who are uncomfortable being hugged but embarrassed to say anything.

    "You get into shades of gray," Kilmer principal Deborah Hernandez said. "The kids say, 'If he can high-five, then I can do this.'"

    Hernandez said the rule is meant to ensure that all students are comfortable and crowded hallways and lunchrooms stay safe. Typically, only repeat offenders are reprimanded.

    But such a strict policy doesn't seem reasonable to 13-year-old Hal and his parents, who have written a letter to the county school board asking for a review of the rule.

    Hugging is encouraged in their home, and their son has been taught to greet someone with a handshake.

    Hal said he feels he knows what's appropriate and what's not.'

    "I think you should be able to shake hands, high-five and maybe a quick hug," he said. "Making out goes too far."


That boy's gonna go a long way โ€” dare I say "far?"

In the meantime, how about someone starting an online petition to change the school's name.

I'm thinking Hammer Middle School has a nice ring to it.

U can't touch this.

June 20, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink


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I agree with this ban... high fives are ok... but hugging and linking arms is too sensually provocoting... anyhow... yeah...

Posted by: callie | Feb 3, 2010 10:21:44 AM

i think NOT being able to hug or show affection is barbaric! im 13 yrs old and have a boyfriend if we weren't allowed to hug or hold hands i wouldn't be able to stand it!!! especially high fiving! come on what else are we to do when we make a winning goal go, "awesome cool lets go eat lunch now" NO your gonna wanna high five and hug!

Posted by: lilly | Apr 14, 2008 5:40:34 PM

They should also ban the state flag, that really looks like inappropriate touching!!!

Posted by: Joe | Jun 27, 2007 3:28:24 PM

" I think that I shall never see..something as stupid as this policy.." but I digress. Learned Hand once said that "futility was legislating that which cannot be prevented"..nuf said.

Posted by: Carlitos | Jun 20, 2007 9:14:10 PM

So much for sports.

Posted by: Al Christensen | Jun 20, 2007 7:23:00 PM

what's wrong with consensual hugging and high-fiving?

banning all touching is ridiculous. it's along the same logic as "we're afraid if you are allowed to eat, you may eat foods that may cause you to die at an early age, plus there's the risk of foul words coming out of your mouth and offending entire groups of people - BAN EATING! NO BAN OPENING MOUTHS ALTOGETHER!"

gad some people are nuts.

Posted by: Jane Chin | Jun 20, 2007 11:31:24 AM

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