A popular charter school in Windsor Terrace has banned hugging between classes — a rule that parents and students aren’t, well, embracing.
Brooklyn Prospect Charter School principal Dan Rubinstein said he created the no hugging rule to keep students from lingering in hallways between classes, which can cause disruptions and tardiness.
“It’s a time, place, and manner thing,” he said. “We don’t want students spending too much social time between class.”
But some parents say the rule is a spirit-crushing assault on kindness that keeps pre-teens from connecting with each other.
“It seems kind of cold,” said parent Allison Pennell. “My seventh grader was like, ‘I’ve had enough of this place.’ ”
The school established the rule roughly three months ago after a sixth grader told teachers a hug from an older student made her feel uncomfortable, parents said.
Kids claim the rule actually came into effect after a gaggle of students began “group hugging” in the hallways, which blocked other children on the way to class.
The hugging ban prompted protests and some serious eye-rolling from middle schoolers, who said the too-strict rule stomps on their ability to express themselves — especially after being forced to wear uniforms last year.
“It’s silly,” said Laura Sainz, a parent. “If my son feels uncomfortable he can say it — there’s no need for a rule.”
The ban on public displays of affection has even prompted some rebel huggers, who started embracing to protest the rule. Some of those kids got recess detention for hugging, students said.
“It’s ridiculous; we do it anyway,” said one student.
Next school year, the Brooklyn Prospect Charter School’s roughly 300 middle schoolers will move from their current home at the Bishop Ford High School building on 19th Street near Prospect Park West to the Immaculate Heart of Mary School — a larger facility roughly 10 blocks away. It’s unclear if the ban on hugs will apply at a building that simply has more space for canoodling than Bishop Ford’s narrow hallways.
But parents including Pennell say the whole matter is overblown.
“It’s sort of much ado about nothing,” she said.Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cn
©2012 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.