Society

Video: School Suspends Teens For Hugging

| by Michael Allen

Palm Bay Southwest Middle School in Palm Beach, Florida, has suspended two 14-year-olds for greeting each other with a hug.

Mother Nancy Crescente told WOFL-TV (video below) that she was shocked to find out her son, Nickolas Martinez, and his friend, were suspended: "I thought it was the most bizarre thing I’ve ever heard. We’re a cultural family and this is what we do. They said this is what they do across the board, it is what it is. And that was that.”

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School administrators say there are no plans to update the “no hugging” policy that was approved by a committee of parents years ago.

“‘Public Displays of Affection’ is a school board policy,” Brevard County School spokesperson Nancy Davis explained. “It relates to kissing and holding hands and hugging. It is a blanket-wide policy across all schools here.”

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But Nancy Crescente disagrees: “There was nothing inappropriate. Hugging is mutual. It was a mutual hug, and I just don’t understand how something so innocent can be turned into this chaos.”