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  1. #11
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    I'm kind of fence sitting on this one. On one hand, she sounded quite rude and aggressive towards you which isn't on. I also think in theory that hugging is lovely and innocent.

    But on the other hand I'm looking at it from the school's perspective. End of last year or early this year there was a story in the news that was linked on the forum about a little boy that was suspended for hugging a girl in his class and wanting to be 'boyfriend/girlfriend. She apparently felt extremely uncomfortable and threatened by it and despite asking him to stop he didn't. Several on BH thought it was creepy. So the problem for the school is if they allowing hugging, where is the line? do little kids know the line between wanted and unwanted affection? how do they handle that? if hugging and touching is allowed (and I'm not talking about inappropriate touching, clearly it's a given that isn't on) do they then have a basis to stop it if it goes too far?

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  3. #12
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    MilkingMaid is offline Winner 2009 - Mod Award - most supportive member
    Question those who don't question authority
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    Hobgoblin, how big is the school? My son was at a very big school to begin with, and it was very impersonal, very 'crowd control' orientated, which I really didn't like.

    He is now at a small rural school, and it is amazing. Every teacher and every child know each other so well, that it really is like a big family, not to say they don't have their ups and downs, but the kids are treated like individuals, not like a number.

    @delerium
    - at my kids school, they teach the basic ground rules, and also teach them to observe body language and facial cues about when touch is and is not appropriate, and if there are any problems, it is worked out on a case by case basis very sensitively, and often afterwards the whole class will discuss the situation theoretically and give suggestions/options about what should have been done so no-one felt bad or whatever.... It's always used to keep teaching the children.
    Last edited by MilkingMaid; 15-03-2014 at 13:23.

  4. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by delirium View Post
    I'm kind of fence sitting on this one. On one hand, she sounded quite rude and aggressive towards you which isn't on. I also think in theory that hugging is lovely and innocent.

    But on the other hand I'm looking at it from the school's perspective. End of last year or early this year there was a story in the news that was linked on the forum about a little boy that was suspended for hugging a girl in his class and wanting to be 'boyfriend/girlfriend. She apparently felt extremely uncomfortable and threatened by it and despite asking him to stop he didn't. Several on BH thought it was creepy. So the problem for the school is if they allowing hugging, where is the line? do little kids know the line between wanted and unwanted affection? how do they handle that? if hugging and touching is allowed (and I'm not talking about inappropriate touching, clearly it's a given that isn't on) do they then have a basis to stop it if it goes too far?

    I agree. As a PP said, our school teaches the children (from Prep age) about appropriate/inappropriate touching, 'your body is your own' etc so even if they aren't taught at home, they are taught at school and there's no bans on hugging, handing hands or anything like that.

    However, my second eldest is quite shy and would find it very hard to say 'No' if someone hugged her and she wasn't comfortable. She wouldn't get angry or upset, but passively let them hug her. I imagine there's a few kids like this, particularly younger kids, so I can understand why the school might have a ban on hugging.

    Having said that, my eldest is fine with hugging and hugs her friends all the time, and they hug her back...but I've started gently suggesting to her not to hug her classmates simply because there's been a number of head lice outbreaks already this year (eek!) and I don't want her to catch them (this may also be part of the school's reasoning)
    Last edited by sky1; 15-03-2014 at 13:51.

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    My biggest concern is the whole "discussion", did this happen in front of the children?

    If the school has a "no touching" policy, then the rule needs to be followed. I don't necessarily agree with the way it was enforced, I also find it inappropriate & disrespectful to question the teacher's actions in front of the children.

    As parents I believe we need to model respectful behavior, if a child copied your behavior I believe their would be some pretty tough consequences.

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    I think it's a silly rule, my DD whose 7 hugs her friends or will run around holding hands with them and the school doesn't discourage this. I believe teachers can tell when "touching" from one student to another becomes inappropriate or uncomfortable.

    DDs school has a no touching rule for teachers to students, but again in the younger grades Ive noticed the teacher will respond with a pat on the back to a child's hug which I don't personally have a problem with and I think it's better than having to reject the child.

    OP i think you have every right to be upset, I would too. Sure there's a line but surely there's a clear difference between a hug and a fight I think by the sounds of it this teachers just a cranky bish

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smyles View Post
    My biggest concern is the whole "discussion", did this happen in front of the children?

    If the school has a "no touching" policy, then the rule needs to be followed. I don't necessarily agree with the way it was enforced, I also find it inappropriate & disrespectful to question the teacher's actions in front of the children.

    As parents I believe we need to model respectful behavior, if a child copied your behavior I believe their would be some pretty tough consequences.
    I will come back soon to reply to others but to this, Im more then happy for my children to question authority and not blindly follow. They are allowed to question me when I ask them to do things and I don't think they should just do something because I said so. There should be a good reason. Respectability though of course. so yes. I did pull the teacher up on it because I believe evem children have a right to know and understand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sky1 View Post

    However, my second eldest is quite shy and would find it very hard to say 'No' if someone hugged her and she wasn't comfortable. She wouldn't get angry or upset, but passively let them hug her. I imagine there's a few kids like this, particularly younger kids, so I can understand why the school might have a ban on hugging.
    Yes, and some younger kids also struggle to read the cues that others don't want to be hugged by them. While I think it's really important for schools to discuss that body language, what does a child's face look like when they don't like you hugging/touching them, it can be quite a complex thing to read for little kids.

    I'm not saying I necessarily agree with the rule, in some ways I don't. I'm just coming from a different perspective that for the school this sort of stuff can be a minefield with angry parents complaining their kinder child is being mauled by another kinder boy and demanding action. So the school errs on the side of caution where a no touch rule means a clear message where there are no shades of grey - and it's the shades of grey that become an issue with parents.

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    Sounds like she needed a hug.

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    Haven't read anyone's comments but the school my DD1 went to last year was exactly the same. My child had never been in trouble at school ever but one day when I picked her up she started crying saying she had time out all lunch break because her and a male friend hugged each other. They are 6 years old and getting time out, utterly ridiculous!

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    As a teacher myself, I find it very difficult when parents challenge me in front of their child/any children. In the big picture it undermines my authority with the children, and this could have bigger repercussions at a different time. It can send the message that teachers can or should be challenged (and this might occur at the wrong time, such as when a child's safety or wellbeing is at risk). If that is a school rule, then teachers need to be consistent when applying it. I believe that there are different rules in some contexts for teachers (drinking caffeine at school is an obvious one). As teachers we are trained to deal with affectionate touching from students, usually to unhook the child in a way that doesn't imply rejection, if that makes sense. Also, there are times when a 'no touching' rule is actually to protect the children. One example from my school is a Year 6 boy that has social issues and often plays with the younger children. Parents of the little ones have commented and showed concern that his behaviour may be inappropriate because he is very tactile, and I've had to speak to him and encourage him to think about the perception that others might have of him.

    But, in terms of the exchange that took place, even if you as a parent are aggressive or inflammatory (and tbh it does read a little as though you were), the teacher in question should have sufficient experience and training to ensure the situation didn't escalate to the extent that it did. I agree that it sounds as though she were very rude. All I can offer from another perspective is that teachers are human too - we have bad days and emotional issues as well. It could have been just the wrong thing on the wrong day. She may have felt affronted to have been challenged for imposing a school rule, and frankly I think she had a right to be. And commenting on another child's behaviour in front of that child is uncalled for in my opinion.

    I'm not excusing her response, as I said, but it does sound like perhaps you and she need to clear the air. As for taking it further, I'm not sure what that would achieve, unless your son had been really upset by what took place. I do think it was avoidable, and perhaps next time you could bring it up with her in a more private manner and approach it from the angle of seeking clarification.

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