Takapuna Normal Intermediate School staff said to their students last week that hugging should be kept to a minimum. The senior staff said that it should be done outside school hours, as the pupils were becoming late for class.
The trend at the school was happening with year eight students in the 12 and 13-year-old age bracket. Principal Sue Cattell said to the NZ Hearald:
“It’s just a little thing that they’re doing. It got out of hand towards the end of morning teatime 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.”
The school is adamant that it is addressing the lateness of students, not the physical contact element involved
Parents of the children have perceived the decision a little extreme. They believe there could have been other ways to deal with the situation, such as sending a message home to parents so they can tell their children not to be late.
Parent Lorna Subritsk said: “It’s like using a sledgehammer to squash an ant. I thought it was pretty bizarre.”