Students from Figtree High School have rejected suggestions they mistook a lesson on inappropriate behaviour for an announcement banning hugging.
Several parents told the Mercury this week their children had been informed by a senior teacher at a school assembly that hugging was banned and those caught in the act would be punished with detention.
However, the Education Department dismissed the claims and instead said hugging had merely been mentioned during a discussion outlining examples of inappropriate behaviour.
Students from the school yesterday responded by venting their frustration on the Mercury's website.
They rejected suggestions that students had misinterpreted the assembly presentation.
"I am a senior student at Figtree High, and what it says in the article is exactly what was said in assembly at school," one student wrote.
"Nothing that was said was misinterpreted - it was as plain as stated. I think it's ridiculous."
Another wrote: "I'm a student in Year 10 at Figtree High School and I would just like to say that during the assembly it was clearly stated and I quote 'if you touch, kiss or hug anyone, you will be sent to the deputy's office and sent home'."
A parent with two children at the school wrote that she also believed hugging had been banned.
An Education Department spokeswoman yesterday remained adamant Figtree High students were not banned from hugging.
She said the school had received no formal complaints about the matter. ...
via We didn't mishear hug ban, say Figtree High students - Local News - News - General - Illawarra Mercury.
"If they can ban hugging, what are they going to do next -- ban smiling?"
Outraged parents told the newspaper they believed hugging had been banned as a way to stop affectionate behavior between students during school time.
"They were told there's no touching, no hugging from now on," an unidentified parent said.
Figtree High School's website makes no mention of the ban but says it aims "to provide a safe and caring environment where students, regardless of diversity, disadvantage or disability, reach their highest potential through positive and enriching learning experiences."
via AOL news
So much for the caring environment where students can reach their highest potential. :-/