To put this latest example of zero tolerance in context, contrast it with a story by Joe Newby that ran earlier this morning. To briefly summarize Joe’s post, the parents of female students who were groped — and in one alleged case raped — by African refugees were told by the school’s head administrator that “boys will be boys.”
But that sobering incident took place in Sweden. In this country, where boys are frequently discouraged from being boys, a 13-year-old female was given detention for giving a supportive hug to a male classmate who was feeling down. Now the girls’ parents are suing the school.
In a news release from the attorney’s office, Morgan & Morgan, Matt Morgan said the law firm was hired to help raise awareness about the issue.
The incident happened Monday at Jackson Heights Middle School in Oviedo.
“I’m definitely hoping that we’re bringing light to this subject,” said Kathy Fishbough, whose daughter, Ella, was punished. “I really didn’t expect this.”
Morgan said he believes that there may be policies in place that discourage children from being kind to one another.
“According to these alleged policies and procedures, a simple hug given to a friend in their time of need is apparently worthy of reprimand,” the law office said in a statement. “We believe this conduct sends the wrong message to our children. They should be encouraged to be kind, not discouraged. The family hopes to bring awareness to this issue in an attempt to make our school systems a more compassionate and loving place for children to spend their days.”
Michael Lawrence, a spokesman for the Seminole County School District, defended the policy, telling reporters the real issue is how far students can go in “showing affection.”
If you’re hugging your friends, you just won a big game, they’re all mobbing you and giving you a hug, or you just saw your friend over the summer and you’re greeting them briefly for the first time, that’s OK.
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