'No touch, no love, no hugging': British school's odd guidelines to students

Representative Image. Photo: iStock

Often schools bring in a slew of regulations to ensure the safety of students and maintain discipline. More often than not, teachers and students adhere to the regulations without any complaint. However, a school in the United Kingdom has hit the headlines after it introduced a “draconian” rule banning pupils from all kinds of physical contact, not even a handshake!

The Hylands School in Chelmsford, Essex, will no longer allow the students to hold hands or hug each other. A directive rolled out the other day also bans students from having any love relationship.

If the students are found to use mobile phones inside the campus, then the equipment will be seized and stored in lockers until school hours are over.

The new rules, though, have not pleased many parents and local residents. Nevertheless, the school authorities maintain they have the backing of a majority of guardians. They argue the measure would greatly contribute to students developing a sense of respect for each other and help them become good professionals in the future.

Head Teacher's defence
Assistant Head Teacher Miss Catherine Macmillan defends the new direction in a letter to parents.

“The pupils won’t be allowed to have any kind of physical contact with each other. They are banned from holding hands, hugging each other, indulging in brawls, and other similar behaviors as all of these come under the scope of physical contact. The measures are for the safety of your children.

Certain issues can crop up when your child touches another with or without the latter’s consent. At times, such touches can be inappropriate. Some students can get uncomfortable or even suffer from injuries. What we desire is that the students should maintain strong lifelong friendships. Hence, love relationships won’t be allowed in school, the letter further states.

However, the children can maintain such close bonding outside the school campus with your permission, the Head Teacher advised.

"What we want them to do in school is to focus on their studies. Hence, we believe the relationship issues shouldn’t distract them and lead to their losing focus. If the students require advice or support on personal issues they face, then there are designated people for the same. They can approach them,” she clarified.  

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