All touching -- not only fighting or inappropriate touching -- is against the rules at Kilmer Middle School in Vienna. Hand-holding, handshakes and high-fives? Banned. The rule has been conveyed to students this way: "NO PHYSICAL CONTACT!!!!!"
School officials say the rule helps keep crowded hallways and lunchrooms safe and orderly, and ensures that all students are comfortable.
Uh, no ... it doesn't ensure the students are comfortable. It ensures that the school administration is comfortable.
Deborah Hernandez, Kilmer's principal, said the rule makes sense in a school that was built for 850 students but houses 1,100. She said that students should have their personal space protected and that many lack the maturity to understand what is acceptable or welcome.
"You get into shades of gray," Hernandez said. "The kids say, 'If he can high-five, then I can do this.'"
Wow ... kids aren't mature enough to understand what kind of touching they would welcome from another person? You must protect the student's personal space from themselves?
I tell you what ... let's tear down all of our schools, and force everyone to attend class online. That way we are assured that they will never come in contact with anyone else. What better way to protect the child's personal space then to prevent them from making an immature decision to allow a friend to give them a hug, pat them on the back, or shake hands? Eventually, we'll have a world that lives in virtual reality, and never leaves home because of mass social anxiety disorder.