Too many students at Oak Park, Ill., Percy Julian Middle School were hugging in the hallway, creating huge backups between classes. So the principal decided to ban hugging in the school:
Sharts said, "Hugging is really more appropriate for airports or for family reunions than passing and seeing each other every few minutes in the halls."
[. . .]
The principal says the rampant hugging is creating bottle necks in the hallway and making kids late for class. Furthermore she says although hugs are supposed to be handshakes from the heart some times they don't seem so innocent.
"Too long, too close, and usually between boys and girls," Sharts said.
Schools often overreact, as when "zero tolerance" means even drawings of guns are banned, but I'm leaning toward the school's position on this one. It's not because of the congestion or the suggestion of sexuality. It's just there's too much hugging going on these days. When, exactly, during the last 20 years did we arrive at the hugging-compulsive culture we now have? I'm with the principal that hugging is more appropriate for family and treasured friends. The more we hug, the less it means.
Go ahead and tell me I'm a touch-averse misanthrope.