Society

Middle School Student Given Detention For Hugging A Friend, Mom Says

| by Jonathan Constante

A Florida mom thinks her daughter’s school principal has gone too far after she reportedly gave the eighth grader detention for hugging another student.

Kathy Fishbough’s daughter, Ella, attends Jackson Heights Middle School in Oviedo, Florida. She was recently given detention after breaking the school’s policy on “inappropriate touching,” 6 News reported.

“I just like hugged them,” Ella, 14, told 6 News. “It was literally for a second.”

The Seminole County School District bans “inappropriate touching,” but leaves interpretation up to principals, according to the school’s code of conduct. It bans hugging, kissing, holding hands and arm-linking as well.

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“I do not feel that this ‘no hugging, holding hands, arm-linking’ would be considered inappropriate touching,” Fishbough said.

According to the district, detentions are given after repeated offenses. Fishbough said this is the second incident between Ella and the same boy. Last month, Ella was reportedly given a warning after the boy put his hand on her head.

“I do think about inappropriate touching and boys and girls of this age having feelings for one another, but that's not what we're dealing with here,” Fishbough said. “And if administration can't tell the difference between a friendly, ‘How are you doing’ hug and an inappropriate hug, then I think we have another big problem.”

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Fishbough added that she believes the principal is taking district policy too far.

“I did ask the principal, if something happened in our family, and she needed to console her cousin or her cousin wanted to console her, would she get in trouble?” Fishbough said. “She said, ‘Yes, ma’am. She would get a PDA.’”

Ella said she is now afraid to touch anybody at school.

This isn't the first incidence of students being suspended over a hug. Four years age, two other Florida middle school students were given in-school suspensions for sharing a hug, the Washington Post reports.

Sources: 6 News, Washington Post / Photo Credit: Screenshot/6 News