I would like to respond to the article in The Brainerd Dispatch on Feb. 19, 2001 about the hugging epidemic among the Pequot Lakes Junior High students. How ridiculous are we going to get?
Anyone who has had a psychology class knows that we all need friends and affection. Kids of this age are starting to find themselves. They need to feel accepted and cared about, especially by their peers. Both boys and girls at this vulnerable age think their parents don't know much and that teachers know even less. They look to their peers for acceptance and approval. A hug is their expression of that acceptance and approval.
A hug never hurt anyone and has helped millions. If the students are not late for class, "making out" in the halls, or being sexual with these hugs, I think it could only benefit the kids' feelings of acceptance and well being. I've been in high schools where teens are literally so wrapped up with each other that it's embarrassing to walk down the halls. We certainly don't want that atmosphere and with proper control that does not have to happen.
If the students are late for class, disruptive or abuse the hugging, then yes, it must be curtailed, but I can't see that a simple hug between friends should be considered inappropriate.
As a former teacher and as a parent, I have hugged hundreds of kids. Sometimes they don't get the affection and acceptance they need from their parents and what better way to get these things than with a hug from a friend?
When you make something "taboo" it becomes even more attractive. I would suggest that school officials keep an eye on the situation and that abuses be dealt with, but let's not become so "politically correct" that kids can't give or receive a hug.
P.S. Would it be better to have the students pushing, kicking and fighting?
Regarding the proposed renovation of the East Brainerd Mall ... I don't understand the idea of doing away with the mall space and having access to the stores from the outside. That way, in order to get from store to store we would have to walk practically around the building, regardless of the weather. I like the inside mall space and would not go there just to walk around the building on the outside. What is wrong with inside access to the stores?
The Friendship Circle Volunteer group would like to send a deep "Miss You" to Rachel Anthony and express family gratitude during this time of sorrow. We will always remember Rachel for helping us form the Friendship Circle in 1998 during the American Heart Walk rallies, health seminars and going out of the way to volunteer countless times in community events/functions/topics and giving time for transportation for the seniors. And for helping us write up neat news articles over the years. We really appreciate all the volunteer hours you contributed to the families, children from your heart. Praying for you to come home safe and you are much sadly missed by everyone.
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