A New Jersey middle school banned its sixth through eighth grade students from hugging.
Matawan-Aberdeen Middle School Principal Tyler Blackmore made an announcement that students were in a no hugging school following some incidents of unsuitable, physical interactions, the school district said, according to the Associated Press. The school has 900 students.
District superintendent David M. Healy said the restriction is in response to specific incidents that violated policies on inappropriate relationships. Healy didn't elaborate, and he said it is the school district's responsibility to teach children about appropriate interactions.
I have confidence in Mr. Blackmore and his administrative team and believe that he acted in a responsible manner, Healy said in a statement.
The students, ages 11 to 14, won't be suspended for hugging and the school hasn't developed a specific policy that prevents hugging, according to the Daily Mail. The middle school, however, does have guidelines on bullying, inappropriate relationships and inappropriate conduct; the hugging ban will fall into these categories.
A handful of other schools across the United States have also instituted a ban on hugging, according to ABC News.