It’s still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die
Guess what? The world does NOT always welcome lovers, as Louis Armstrong so gallantly sang in Casablanca. Remember the 1st Grade boy who was charged with sexual harassment for kissing a girl? Thankfully that judgement was overturned http://edition.cnn.com/2013/12/12/us/six-year-old-kissing-girl-suspension/
Well, in a week when we really should be looking critically at yet another school shooting, we have the case of an admitted “hugger” being suspended from his high school for a year for hugging his teacher. Yessir, in Georgia, a 17 year old boy who was 5 months away from graduating and going on to college with an athletic scholarship, has been forced to put his life on hold for a year.
Of course there are two sides to this story, and while I was sitting on a high school board back in NJ I heard all of them. I know that some hugs can hurt, I’ve actually had a rib crack from a friendly bear hug. And some hugs can be dismissive, as in one person is ready to forgive but you’re not quite there yet. Now we have the “inappropriate hug” which is open to interpretation.
But imho, the world can be divided into two camps – like Beatles or Stones? dogs or cats? – huggers and non-huggers. Will the Love Bug escape her destiny? I’m afraid hugging will be inevitable in her case.
I sign many an email with the term, “Hugs!” I go in for a hug instead of a handshake most days. My kids are huggers, it’s almost genetic. We all know the stance of a non-hugger. Hands hang limp, body bends at the waist warily, head turns away. It’s like a sweaty palm in a perfunctory handshake, you wish you’d known they were non-huggers from the get go, but now it’s too late. You’re locked in an embrace with an automaton.
Sometimes a hug is all it takes. Like the time my next door neighbor’s house was burning down right around Christmas and I walked out into the night and found her, both of us shivering in our robes, and hugged her. She told me later how much she appreciated it and yet it wasn’t even pre-meditated, it was a reflexive reaction on my part. As that senior boy said about his teacher,
“She looked like she needed it.”
One of my earliest memories is of being kissed by a boy named Lloyd on the Kindergarten bus. It was a bit scary and thrilling all at the same time, which is why I remember it. What about you? Any early memories of that first kiss? Any inappropriate hug stories? Has zero tolerance become limitless ignorance? SIGH
And if you’d like to sign the petition to have the GA school board revisit such a calamitous disciplinary action for giving a hug to a teacher, here it is: http://www.change.org/petitions/gwinnett-county-public-schools-overturn-and-revisit-sam-mcnair-s-yearlong-suspension-for-hugging-a-teacher?share_id=RHbqsAXavU&utm_campaign=share_button_action_box&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition