Minnesota school bans hugging
February 27, 2001
Web posted at: 3:04 PM EST (2004 GMT)
PEQUOT LAKES, Minnesota (AP) -- Teachers at Pequot Lakes School are telling students to just say no to hugs.
Hugging has become a standard greeting and way to say goodbye at Pequot Lakes, with some students saying they get 40 to 60 hugs a day from friends. But the school isn't embracing the idea.
Teachers are doling out reprimands to students caught hugging in the hallway. They are punished with detention if caught three times in a day or four times a week.
School officials "think it's sexual and it's not appropriate," said Ashley Bennett, 12, who has been written up for hugging. "But that's how people express their feelings. It makes people feel better."
The school doesn't have an official policy, but administrators believe the hugging is unnecessary.
"We don't have a hugging epidemic because we've clamped down on that," said Chuck Arns, a Pequot Lakes principal. "It has a tendency to change the atmosphere in school."