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    Is hugging hip?

    Date: 06.02.09 | by Judge Tom.

    Many teens say that hugging at school is not a sexual or romantic gesture.  It is simply the “hello” of this generation.  Hugs range from the basic friend hug to the bear hug.  Gender is no longer a barrier to this casual greeting.

    Some schools, concerned about sexual harassment claims and inappropriate displays of affection, have banned hugging on campus or set time limits (three seconds, for example) on a hug. Enforcement must be a nightmare. In an earlier blog we reported on one school that gave detention for extended hugs.

    Photo by Binababy123 (Flickr)

    What do you think about hugging at school? Is it something you’ve grown up with among family and friends? Is it an extension of the handshake or fist bump? Has hugging lost its meaning or do you think it helps break down barriers. Have you sent someone a *hug* on Facebook lately?

    In March, 2012, the principal at Matawan-Aberdeen Middle School in New Jersey announced the end of hugging at school. Some of the 900 students agreed with the policy while others oppose it and plan to circulate a petition to convince the administrators to repeal it. No disciplinary actions are planned if violated. Officials trust their students to comply without consequences: not a bad approach to working with students.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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