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.”
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.”