My feed

to access all these features


No physical contact in school rule

28 replies

Marie0 · 28/09/2018 19:46

My 11 year DS recently started high school - he has ASD and is a ‘hugger’. There is a ‘no physical contact’ rule at school.

I totally get that not everyone is comfortable with any physical contact especially people with ASD who possibly have sensory issues (with touch).

But his friends are also ‘huggers’ and they are often trying to hug each other and then get told off for breaking the rules.

Each day when I collect him from school he’s sad as he can’t give or receive hugs from his friends.

Surely there’s no need to force this rule on people who clearly enjoy some physical contact?

OP posts:
Imustbemad00 · 28/09/2018 19:53

Think it’s common. Dd school has the same it can eliminate a lot of problems even though it might seems daft. Hugs can lead to someone being uncomfortable or making accusations, play fighting can lead to injuries or accusations, general touching even affectionately between friends the same.

Goth237 · 28/09/2018 22:49

Sorry OP, but I think they need to enforce the rule for everyone at all times. There could be a blurred line/confusion if it was suddenly allowed for some at certain times. I think the no-physical-contact rule is a good one.

Creeper8 · 29/09/2018 00:08

ive not heard of this rule before but then i dont have teens

PlantsArePeopleToo · 29/09/2018 00:21

Seriously? If my school had this rule I think my very small group of friends and I would have been in a non-stop hug just to make a point.

PlantsArePeopleToo · 29/09/2018 00:23

I also have ASD and whilst I generally hate physical contact with the vast majority of people, on the rare occasion I get close to someone I tend to go the opposite way and become very touchy feely and huggy Blush

Joboy · 29/09/2018 00:33

What no touching allowed in school......
How has this become a thing

RibbonAurora · 29/09/2018 01:51

Look, it's easier to implement an across the board 'no touching' rule than it is to weed out the non-huggers from the huggers. You say yourself you realise that not everyone likes to be touched so what are the teachers supposed to do if an enthusiastic hugger misreads the signs and hugs someone with a rooted objection to it? What if a normally ugly person is having a day when they don't feel high? It all goes to issues of consent. We're trying to tell our kids that they have bodily autonomy and can choose who touches them and when, when it's appropriate and when it's not appropriate. At school it's not appropriate that's all your son needs to know.

RibbonAurora · 29/09/2018 01:53

*That's normally huggy not ugly and feel huggy again not feel high! Wtf autocorrect?

noego · 29/09/2018 07:23

The world is becoming a cold, cold, place.

Yours sincerely

A hugger and believer in love and affection.

Lethaldrizzle · 29/09/2018 07:28

I think it's sad although there is a boy in my daughter's class who is a hugger and I know he has made her feel uncomfortable at times, but i dont tbink it should be banned

Etino · 29/09/2018 07:30

It’s a minefield. But having a blanket rule is sensible as it eliminates the, ‘we were only play fighting’ and the ‘she’s my friend’ cover for copping a feel.

TheChocolateTrain · 29/09/2018 07:32

That's nothing new, is it? We had that rule when I was at school 20-odd years ago!

Urbanbeetler · 29/09/2018 07:32

But surely it would be better to support children to use touch appropriately rather than ban it altogether. What are they learning then? Appropriate touch can be an important part of communication for many.

cariadlet · 29/09/2018 07:35

It all goes to issues of consent. We're trying to tell our kids that they have bodily autonomy and can choose who touches them and when, when it's appropriate and when it's not appropriate

If physical contact is completely banned then kids aren't able to make those choices. (Wanted) physical contact releases feel-good hormones in the brain and there's plenty of evidence that children who grow up without physical affection are really badly affected.

I think that if you have to create a rule then it should be worded along the lines of having to ask if someone wants a hug. If you are trying to teach children when physical contact is appropriate then you can ban hugs during lessons when they are supposed to be focused on their learning.

PrincessTwilightStoleMyToddler · 29/09/2018 07:39

Ah. You see, I would really really have appreciated a rule like that when I was at school. Would have prevented a huge amount of the unwanted touching that a lot of us (female) pupils had to deal with. It is so so easy for even a lovely, genuine “huggy” person - which I am sure your son is - to perfectly innocently misread someone and hug someone who will feel pretty upset and violated by someone touching them. So I can completely understand where the school is coming from. Besides, most of the time your DS is at school he is in a classroom setting, where touching is not appropriate, so this only limits break times, surely? Can’t they just hug outside of school time?

MissusGeneHunt · 29/09/2018 07:47

Sad, but if its become necessary because of inappropriate touching, 'thems the rules'.

But will it inhibit that swathe of inappropriate touching? Does it make the toucher think twice? Statute laid down doesn't appear to.

Maybe at a time of the promotion of MH awareness in schools, this could be a difficult one... Sometimes a YP who is distressed, or just plain sad, might need that hug, then and there, and not wait til 4 o'clock.

I dunno, I'm in two minds and see both sides. Sad that it's got to this though I think.

AjasLipstick · 29/09/2018 08:05

It would be ok if they could guarantee all the children's safety wouldn't it? But they can't because most secondary schools are massive, cold and impersonal places.

Not places which are good for children really.

I was sexually assaulted in secondary school three times, one of them was very violent. Every time was by an older boy...three different ones.

So whilst you might think "aw...what about affection?" the children can get that out of school hours. And the rule ensures safety. Or at least goes some way towards that.

SilverApples · 29/09/2018 08:29

If he’s going to live and function in the world, he will have to learn that some rules will make him sad, but if they are the same for all, then it might be easier for him to adjust. In the same way my non-tactile child had to learn not to shove huggers violently away.
Secondary has lots of learning curves and pitfalls for all new students, he can hug friends out of school.

Marie0 · 29/09/2018 14:11

Lots of responses thank you - I’m also a hugger - but yes I appreciate it’s not for everyone

OP posts:
InertPotato · 29/09/2018 14:14

Well, the world's gone mad innit. Pretty sad stuff.

Marie0 · 29/09/2018 14:16

I know I feel very sad - someone just accused me of being a troll- I don’t know why

OP posts:
KatieMarieJ · 29/09/2018 14:19

What an enormously sad state of affairs. I would consider such a place dysfunctional. How have schools got to this point?


Don’t want to miss threads like this?


Sign up to our weekly round up and get all the best threads sent straight to your inbox!

Log in to update your newsletter preferences.

You've subscribed!

InertPotato · 29/09/2018 14:31

Ignore, that happens regularly.

SilverHairedCat · 29/09/2018 14:45

This was the same when I was at school between 1992-1997, so it doesn't strike me as anything out of the ordinary I'm afraid.

That said, I've no recollection of it being stringently enforced, nor or any molesting taking place (though of course there may well have been both happening, it was a school of 600 pupils).

Marie0 · 29/09/2018 15:28

Lol at PlantsArePeopleToo - a girl after my own heart - I'd do the same!!

OP posts:
Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.