North Shore students have been banned from hugging during
school hours because too many of them - mainly girls - were
consistently arriving late to their classes.
Takapuna Normal Intermediate School deputy principal Sue
Cattell said teachers last week suggested to students that
they keep the hugs outside of the school day.
A trend among groups of year 8 students - 12- to 13-year-olds
- had driven the call, Mrs Cattell said.
"It's just a little thing that they're doing. It got out of
hand towards the end of morning tea time especially. There
would be groups that got back to class 10 to 15 minutes late
because they were going around making sure they'd hugged the
whole group before they got back to class.
"Obviously they'll see their friends again at lunchtime so
there's not a need for a great big hug. [The teachers' talk]
was to remind them that this is like their place of work and
they need to be back on time."
More than 600 attend the school and there were also concerns
that some children's feelings could be hurt if they were left
Parent Lorna Subritsky, whose daughter attends the school,
said she could understand it might be annoying for teachers
for have stragglers to their classes but the issue could be
dealt with by addressing the lateness, not the physical
contact. Parents could have spoken to their children in order
to cut down the time-wasting.
"It's like using a sledgehammer to squash an ant. I thought
it was pretty bizarre," she said.
President of the New Zealand Association for Intermediate and
Middle Schooling Gary Sweeney said he'd noticed the same
trend in his own school, Pukekohe Intermediate.
"I do not really have a comment about whether another school
is right or wrong with how they approach various issues.
Being late to class is certainly an issue and if the school
has put in place a rule to help hurry kids along to class,
then I would support that."
- Yvonne Tahana, NZ Herald