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  • Your Opinion Please

    School enforces strict no-touching rule
    Strict no-contact rule, meant to stem violence, has some pushing for change
    The Associated Press

    VIENNA, Va. - A rule against physical contact at a Fairfax County middle school is so strict that students can be sent to the principal's office for hugging, holding hands or even high-fiving.

    Unlike some schools in the Washington area, which ban fighting or inappropriate touching, Kilmer Middle School in Vienna bans all touching — and that has some parents lobbying for a change.

    Hugging was Hal Beaulieu's crime when he sat next to his girlfriend at lunch a few months ago and put his arm around her shoulder. He was given a warning, but told that repeat missteps could lead to detention.

    "I think hugging is a good thing," said Hal, a seventh-grader. "I put my arm around her. It was like for 15 seconds. I didn't think it would be a big deal."

    But at a school of 1,100 students that was meant to accommodate 850, school officials think some touching can turn into a big deal. They've seen pokes lead to fights, gang signs in the form of handshakes or girls who are uncomfortable being hugged but embarrassed to say anything.

    "You get into shades of gray," Kilmer Principal Deborah Hernandez said. "The kids say, 'If he can high-five, then I can do this.' "

    Hernandez said the no-touching rule is meant to ensure that all students are comfortable and crowded hallways and lunchrooms stay safe. She said school officials are allowed to use their judgment in enforcing the rule. Typically, only repeat offenders are reprimanded.

    'Making out goes too far'
    But such a strict policy doesn't seem necessary to 13-year-old Hal and his parents, who have written a letter to the county school board asking for a review of the rule. Hugging is encouraged in their home, and their son has been taught to greet someone with a handshake.

    Hal said he feels he knows what's appropriate and what's not.


    "I think you should be able to shake hands, high-five and maybe a quick hug," he said. "Making out goes too far."

    His parents said they agree that teenagers need to have clear limits but don't want their son to be taught that physical contact is bad.

    "How do kids learn what's right and what's wrong?" Henri Beaulieu asked. "They are all smart kids, and they can draw lines. If they cross them, they can get in trouble. But I don't think it would happen too often."

    thats what u get 4 breaking my heart...

  • #2
    My opinion is that parents (in all the possible incarnations) should teach their children what's right and wrong and how to deal with their problems -- not schools/tv/bands/anyone else. The kids that are uncomfortable should tell the people hi-fiving them that and if it continues they should go tell an adult. The meek have inherited nothing thus far....

    I was bullied in school, to include wedgies/pushes into the toilet/pushes down stairs, and no one said boo about it. When I hit the kid no one complained either. You just have to learn to deal with your problems -- don't regulate my life because other people still haven't learned to get on with their lives. This is part of the maturing process that takes place when you go from child to adult.

    My $1.05 (note the inflation from $0.02 to cover my gas costs to arrive here and make these comments )

    P.S. I *hate* being touched in most circumstances, but I would never tell someone else they can't hug or hi-five.
    A tater tot is worth a thousand fries.

    Comment


    • #3
      Me personally, i dont think this will work. Students may not be able to touch others, what about the teachers? If its no touching, the teachers should follow this rule also. They cant be grabbing a child and dragging them into the pricipals office, or pulling them aside to 'have a chat' with them. The child might have a grudge against the teacher, and say thing just to get them in trouble.

      Kids are kids. They cant sit still for too long, or keep their hand too themselves. In every culture, in any time period there was always a bully in the community or family. Kids will fight, and that is just a part of growing up.

      I've been in fight, not pround of it, but it taugt me how to defend myself the next time around. ITS ALL ABOUT LEARNING

      You just have to know when to draw the line.

      thats what u get 4 breaking my heart...

      Comment


      • #4
        Actually, for the Beltway Culture here in the District of Confusion, this rule makes perfect sense. In order to understand the rule you have to understand the culture. The Beltway Culture is like no other in this country, and I've experienced every major region in most of the lower 48.

        Here appearances are everything, taking responsibility is to be avoided, meetings and committees for -any- decision abound. And it's not just me being the old backwoods curmudgeon that I am - new transplants to the area are amazed, baffled and frustrated by this culture.

        A no touching rule is just an outgrowth of all that. It is creative avoidance at it's most manifest.

        Thank all creation that I only have 5 years 11 months and 20 more days left before I can leave here.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by between2worlds View Post
          Actually, for the Beltway Culture here in the District of Confusion, this rule makes perfect sense. In order to understand the rule you have to understand the culture. The Beltway Culture is like no other in this country, and I've experienced every major region in most of the lower 48.

          Here appearances are everything, taking responsibility is to be avoided, meetings and committees for -any- decision abound. And it's not just me being the old backwoods curmudgeon that I am - new transplants to the area are amazed, baffled and frustrated by this culture.

          A no touching rule is just an outgrowth of all that. It is creative avoidance at it's most manifest.

          Thank all creation that I only have 5 years 11 months and 20 more days left before I can leave here.

          Yeah, the Beltway culture does seem like it dropped in from outer space sometimes. I grew up in Baltimore - we always knew the clan down the highway was nuts. Now everybody else is finding out too.

          Comment


          • #6
            i can confirm that. i just spent 2 years living in the dc metro mess and the place is just flat out wierd. a simple trip home from work,not more than 5 miles could take me as much as 2 hours. people will drive in the left lane,doing 40 miles an hour while reading the news paper.and you'd be in the wrong for honking.they even have roads with one name for the north bound lanes and another for the south bound lanes

            the no touching rule has a lot of company with stupid things. theres a saudi school in alexandria that teaches first graders that non muslums should be put to death for thier own good

            The older I get the less of a deterrent life without parole gets

            Comment


            • #7
              Ive never heard of the "Beltway Culture". Sorry. In some of the Navajo ceremonies, men and women are not touch each other or other people for a few days. It has to do with being holy.

              I remember my grandmother telling us kids story about the old days. Back then ppl didnt go around touching each other just because. They respected ppl's personal space. Some where down the line, that respect for one another was lost. Now a days, you see ppl pushing each other to get in line and fighting just because someone said something.

              My grandmother was trying to get a point across.

              thats what u get 4 breaking my heart...

              Comment


              • #8
                pfffft, this is one of the dumbest things I've heard of. I think to some extent kids need to be able to feel (no pun intended) the world out a little on their own. Going "all or nothing" takes the fun out of being young. How does this apply to proms and contact sports? lol
                "To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible." ~St. Augustine

                Comment


                • #9
                  When I was in public school, we had a principal who tried to instill the same thing. So my brother & I & a few friends organized a giant game of red rover at lunch for the grades 4 - 8 students, after learning from a friends parents that the school would get in trouble if they suspended to large a number of students. It worked, they couldn't suspend all of us & no one would admiit who organized it (probably alot of students didn't know) & the rule went out the window. Just a suggestion.

                  Suzze

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mud_Woman View Post
                    Ive never heard of the "Beltway Culture". Sorry. In some of the Navajo ceremonies, men and women are not touch each other or other people for a few days. It has to do with being holy.

                    I remember my grandmother telling us kids story about the old days. Back then ppl didnt go around touching each other just because. They respected ppl's personal space. Some where down the line, that respect for one another was lost. Now a days, you see ppl pushing each other to get in line and fighting just because someone said something.

                    My grandmother was trying to get a point across.
                    Actually, you have probably seen or felt "Beltway Culture" effects. It is why the government couldn't get it's act together in New Orleans. It's why we have "solutions" to real problems that amount to window dressing. When no one makes a decision no one has to take the "blame" for it. Smoke and mirrors become substitutes for real action.

                    Case in point (from the Mother Earth concert at NMAI last night) - 3 employees were helping to dismantle some of the tents and tables lining the street next to the venue. One tent had fans and a drop cord and a power strip. All work ceased.

                    It turned into a 3 ring circus with the person in charge talking into 2 cell phones at once while two other people stood around. Why? Well it was electricity. They had to get someone whose "job description" allowed them to unplug three fans from a power strip and carry the fans into the building! The super couldn't find anyone inside to authorize the "procedure" because everyone that was spoken to said "it's not in my job description". At one point the super had one cell phone held against the other cell phone so 2 (buck passing) people in the same building would (not could - WOULD) talk to each other.

                    Upshot was it took AN HOUR to move the fans. And they got moved because one of the 2 worker bees was ndn and simply said "*bleep* with this" unplugged the fans and powerstrip and extension cord and put them on a cart and pulled them away towards the building - leaving the super (totally oblivious to what was going on behind) still arguing furiously into the phones.

                    This is how DC is - gov't and non-gov't entities alike. Pass the buck - schedule a meeting - duck/weave and avoid making decisions because NO ONE is willing to take any responsibility. The best solution is the one that does nothing but makes it look like something has been done. Put a good spin on it and we can all go to lunch.

                    I have 5 years 11 months and 1 week left to go in this crazy carnival funhouse.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      i dont know if thats dc or just a union venue. i did a trade show in chicago.... i was almost thrown out for adjusting a couple clamp lights on teamster turf.
                      Last edited by FluteMaker; 07-08-2007, 10:29 PM.

                      The older I get the less of a deterrent life without parole gets

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        These were all gubermint employees from the stuff on the ID cards hanging off their necks.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by between2worlds View Post
                          Actually, you have probably seen or felt "Beltway Culture" effects. It is why the government couldn't get it's act together in New Orleans. It's why we have "solutions" to real problems that amount to window dressing. When no one makes a decision no one has to take the "blame" for it. Smoke and mirrors become substitutes for real action.

                          Case in point (from the Mother Earth concert at NMAI last night) - 3 employees were helping to dismantle some of the tents and tables lining the street next to the venue. One tent had fans and a drop cord and a power strip. All work ceased.

                          It turned into a 3 ring circus with the person in charge talking into 2 cell phones at once while two other people stood around. Why? Well it was electricity. They had to get someone whose "job description" allowed them to unplug three fans from a power strip and carry the fans into the building! The super couldn't find anyone inside to authorize the "procedure" because everyone that was spoken to said "it's not in my job description". At one point the super had one cell phone held against the other cell phone so 2 (buck passing) people in the same building would (not could - WOULD) talk to each other.

                          Upshot was it took AN HOUR to move the fans. And they got moved because one of the 2 worker bees was ndn and simply said "*bleep* with this" unplugged the fans and powerstrip and extension cord and put them on a cart and pulled them away towards the building - leaving the super (totally oblivious to what was going on behind) still arguing furiously into the phones.

                          This is how DC is - gov't and non-gov't entities alike. Pass the buck - schedule a meeting - duck/weave and avoid making decisions because NO ONE is willing to take any responsibility. The best solution is the one that does nothing but makes it look like something has been done. Put a good spin on it and we can all go to lunch.

                          I have 5 years 11 months and 1 week left to go in this crazy carnival funhouse.
                          Im having a blond moment.

                          thats what u get 4 breaking my heart...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by between2worlds View Post
                            Actually, for the Beltway Culture here in the District of Confusion, this rule makes perfect sense. In order to understand the rule you have to understand the culture. The Beltway Culture is like no other in this country, and I've experienced every major region in most of the lower 48.

                            Here appearances are everything, taking responsibility is to be avoided, meetings and committees for -any- decision abound. And it's not just me being the old backwoods curmudgeon that I am - new transplants to the area are amazed, baffled and frustrated by this culture.

                            A no touching rule is just an outgrowth of all that. It is creative avoidance at it's most manifest.

                            Thank all creation that I only have 5 years 11 months and 20 more days left before I can leave here.
                            i have to agree. instead of teaching what is appropriate and stopping the bullies/ predators/ whatever, they create a blanket rule that just avoids the whole issue.
                            the problem isn't the 6 hours kids spend in school its the other 18 hours they spend with no parenting or lousy parenting.
                            how wierd would it be to grow up in a culture that is afraid of all physical contact?
                            There is only one success; to be able to live your life in your own way.

                            Comment

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