Student gets detention for hugging another student

- A Florida middle school girl was given detention after she gave her friend a hug before the bell rang for classes to begin for the day.  Jackson Heights Middle School eighth-grader Ella Riccard said the hug happened just before class on Monday morning and lasted about a second.  

The disputed contact has her parents questioning the Oviedo school’s policies.  "I don't think giving a hug warrants discipline," said mom Kathy Fishbough.

"The school district does not have a policy against hugging, and most hugging is acceptable and okay. It depends on the context of the hug," said Michael Lawrence, a Seminole County Public Schools communications officer.  "In this particular case, a lot of our schools have rules against public display of affection; and then therefore, they label hugging in that context as being inappropriate behavior."   Lawrence added that such behavior might include a romantic hug or an unwanted hug.

Fishbough said her daughter was given a warning after previously hugging the same boy. After this incident, Ella was given documentation about what not to do.

"A paper saying what PDA [public display of affection] is, and what like they want us to do, and stuff like the staff doesn't want to see any of that, because it could cause jealousy," Riccard explained.  
"We're basically taking human contact from one another, we're changing our children to the point that they're not going to understand what good touch or bad touch is, it's just plane and simple no touch," her mother added.
The girl is expected to serve her detention on Friday.
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