Sunday, August 24, 2008

No Hugs In Minnesota

Along with growing up on an organic vegetable farm, without running water and electricity, I was also home schooled. It was only for kindergarten. When I was old enough for first grade the school district gave my parents some options for what they would need to do if I continued to be home schooled, and they decided to leave it up to me. Being a pretty social kid, I decided to go to school.

It was about a month into the school year when I started, and I was beyond excited. I still remember being just over the moon about getting to meet all of the other kids, and my teacher, and about learning. I was an early reader, and truth be told, I think I wanted access to more books.

I don't remember much about my first day except one story that still gives me a little funny feeling in my stomach. A kid in my class, Jesse, was crying. I don't remember the reason, but I decided that he needed what I had been taught everyone needed, a hug. I went over to hug him only to be told by Mrs. Fisher that "we don't do that". I was heart broken.

When I moved back to Minnesota, I went to Jesse's wedding. (our moms ended up being very good friends) While we were growing up, he had been one of the kids who had teased me the most. (see what you get for hugging?) However, when we were in high school, we'd talked about all of that, and made our peace. Something he reminded me of when I did the dollar dance.

With all of the concern about good and bad touch in school, I wonder who comforts kids when they cry. M's daycare gives hugs, and she comes from very a very huggy family, so I am sure that it is something that we'll have to deal with eventually. At least we have four more years to worry about it.

This post has been brought to you by the letters PBN, as part of a blog blast sponsored by Hanes. You can enter to win free undies, who doesn't need more undies? (or in our case, undershirts, since um, diapers still)


Karianna said...

In my son's old school, if he *didn't* hug he would have been put in time out. Rules, rules!

And then in his new school, they had that "Sexual Assault Panda" video.

Fortunately we are now in School #3, which appears to be on neither extreme.

Fiona Picklebottom said...

The teachers at my kids elementary hug (at least the female ones, I don't know about the few males, but they tend to teach the older grades, where hugging is less tolerated by the kids themselves). No one has ever had a problem with it as far as I am aware. I guess if someone does, things will change, which will be a shame, because sometimes a kid does just need a hug.

Amanda said...

That's really sad...I hate that we live in a society where we HAVE to be so paranoid that you can't give a child a hug. But I work in law enforcement and am face to face with the reasons WHY that happens on a daily basis. I am somewhat conflicted, I guess. I think it's terrible that hugging is a "no-no", but I know I will also have to work on not being paranoid that everyone is going to hurt my baby girl.

Rebecca said...

I hear ya. Hugs are wonderful. It makes me sad to think you were told by a teacher not to hug a classmate who was crying!