Who thought you could get detention for just giving someone a hug? Fourteen-year-old Ella Fishbough learned this the hard way, thanks to her school’s strict policy against public displays of affection (PDA). Apparently you’re not allowed to touch anyone, even if they’re having a bad day. Isn’t human connection the point of, you know, living?
According to The Washington Post, Fishbough hugged her male friend since he was having a bad day, claiming it was for “literally a second.” A second too long. Her school’s code of conduct, Seminole County School District in Florida, prohibits “inappropriate or obscene acts,” such as “unwelcome or inappropriate touching, or any other physical act that is considered to be offensive, socially unacceptable or not suitable for an educational setting.”
Kathy, Ella’s mom, told WFTV that her daughter would even be in trouble if she hugged a family member, since their school’s policy is that rigid:
“I did ask the principal, ‘If something had happened in our family, and she needed to console her cousin, or her cousin wanted to console her, would Ella get in trouble? She said, ‘Yes, ma’am. She would get a PDA.'”
As a former educator, I’m all for keeping kids safe emotionally and physically, especially when it comes to inappropriate behavior and touching. However, this school’s policy definitely seems over the top, to the point that it makes all affection inappropriate–which to me, seems like an unhealthy idea to promote.
What do you think of the school’s policy?