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C'mon, Sharts, Give Hugs a Chance!

By Peter Mavrik in News on Oct 1, 2007 5:55PM

2009_10_hugs.jpgMiddle school can be a rough time. Hormones rage, cliques form, and the general craziness of living a teenager's life in the double-naughts can close in. There are bullies to dodge, nerds to befriend, and that one goth-chick with red eyes who is never seen without her crusty duct-taped headphones on. And then one of your friends comes along, gives you a hug as you say hello, and suddenly the world is OK.

But not if you go to Percy Julian Middle School in Oak Park. Principal Victoria Sharts has banned hugging at school, insisting that rampant hugging is crowding halls and making students late for class. While we'll refrain from making a potty joke about her last name (oops, did we just do that?) we have to speak out in protest against such a policy.

If two students are entangled in a bump-and-grind kinda way in the hall, it makes sense to split them up. But banning hugging completely? Principal Sharts, what in the world are you thinking? If it were up to us, more students in more schools would be hugging regularly.

Affection, appropriate or inappropriate, is something that middle school kids are just trying to get right. We know from time to time it may get a bit out of hand, but isn't that the responsibility of the staff to help educate the students on what's right and what isn't? Banning hugs seems like a cop-out to us.

Principal Sharts, if you give us a ring, we'll come over and give you a big hug. We think you need one.