Tuesday, 20 October 2009

New heights of idiocy

have been reached in the "political correctness and, while we are at it, let us guard our children against all possible harm" stakes. Children may no longer hug one another. It sets a bad example for younger children.
Reading this first caused me to check the date. No, it is not April 1st. I then re-checked the location. Yes, we are talking about Australia. To be even more precise we are talking about South Australia and, most precisely of all, a primary school I once attended.
I have many memories of that school, both good and bad. One of the bad memories is of being ridiculed by a teacher for not being able to do something - and then losing marks for the team I was on because I could not do it. One of the good memories is of being hugged by one of the other kids because the kids decided that the teacher's behaviour was not acceptable. That hug was the difference between being able to go on with the school day and perhaps deciding that I would get on my tricycle and disappear forever.
When I first started teaching I worked in a school for profoundly and severely disabled children. We hugged the kids all the time. We hugged them to tell them they had done well. We hugged them to comfort them. We hugged them to help them feel secure. We hugged them to say "hello" and "goodbye". Hugs were part of the day. We could not have taught them anything without hugs. I don't know how they cope now. Teachers are never supposed to hug kids. I know it has all come about because a very small minority of truly evil people decided that simple hugs were not enough but it distresses me. Hugs are essential to life.


Adelaide Dupont said...

Hugging is very special.

I can see the use of it for profoundly and severely disabled children.

They are able to say so much without words and mean so much too.

Rachel Fenton said...

So we will have a generation of unempathetic and emotionally disaffected people? Um, isn't that a little like raising sociopaths? Much better than all that inappropriate hugging I guess. (?)

Donna Hosie said...

Political correctness gone mad. All of my kids were appalled when they heard this on the news yesterday and have all vowed to keep on hugging their friends.

And woe betide the head teacher who tries to discipline them. They will see mother bear unleash her rancour!

catdownunder said...

There was a television programme years ago called "The Ascent of Man" - in the last episode Bronowski showed a blind person touching the face of someone who had been through a concentration camp and said, "We must learn to touch people." The authorities seem to have forgotten that there are other reasons to touch people!