School principal who banned students from hugging in extreme no-contact rule backs down

Headmistress Andrea Din introduced the new rule last week, which encouraged youngsters not to cuddle or play and not to carry each other

After an outcry from the parents, Andrea Din backed down and apologized
After an outcry from the parents, Andrea Din backed down and apologized

A school principal who banned students from hugging after imposing an extreme no-contact rule has backed down.

Andrea Din unveiled the new rule in her school newsletter last week – which was met with fury by parents at Mossley Hollins High School in Greater Manchester.

Parents accused the 854-student coeducational school of turning their children into “robots.”

The newsletter said teens shouldn’t engage in cuddles or playfights for fear they might expose their classmates to “harm.”

Miss Din also banned teens from carrying each other during playtime and even reserved a spot in the queue for their friends to have lunch.

Mossley Hollins’ school wanted to ban students from hugging each other


Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

Other prohibitions include crowding benches, toy fights, and hurling “objects.”

Today, however, the headmistress has apologized and said cuddling is allowed.

In a message on the school’s website, she said: “I wanted to write to apologize to the students and parents who have taken the time to constructively communicate with the school and express their concerns.

“The ideas from these parents and students were friendly and very helpful.

“Thanks. They understood what we were trying to do but had reservations about what the article said. You were right.

The originally published no contact rule


Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

“The school remains committed to having a way of working that helps the youngsters who have missed out on so much socialization at school due to the absence of lockdown.

“However, our previous ‘no contact’ statement and the examples we gave in our article in the last Newsflash were incorrect and I take responsibility for that.”

She added: “I’ve met with our principals to listen to them, to hear what we’re trying to encourage and do right, particularly at recess and lunchtime.

“We agree that proper human contact is a good thing and brings warmth to human friendships when both sides are in favor of it. Gross contact or inappropriate contact in schools, as in the whole world, is not.

“Our rule has been made much clearer: students should not use ‘hard contact’. This applies outside the building as well as inside.

“My apologies again that last week’s article just wasn’t helpful in finding the right balance of mature interaction and support and caring that we were trying to create and caused uproar: That was never the intention and it does me.” sorry has caused so much uproar.”

Miss Din also banned teenagers from carrying each other during playtime


Cavendish Press (Manchester) Ltd)

In its original announcement, the school said: “To further improve our school culture, a no-contact rule is now in place. This means that no student should ever touch another student.

“Carrying other students, cuddling, or playful fighting will not be tolerated. Students must treat others with respect. All students should demonstrate good school citizenship at all times (including breaks and lunch breaks).

“Respect, helping others and following all school rules are necessary qualities for success.”

It added: “This new rule was put in place to ensure everyone feels safe at school, has a supportive environment inside and outside of the classroom, shows mutual respect and is kind to one another.

“Has a positive attitude towards one another and has healthy relationships with peers.”

Under the headline: “What does ‘no contact’ actually mean to our students?” The school warned students to “always feel safe by being careful and showing courtesy”.

It said there should be “no toy fights or rough play,” adding: “Never push or pull others.

“Keep your hands and feet to yourself. Physical contact and verbal abuse of others are not allowed. No jumping on each other, cuddling and no carrying each other.

“No throwing objects. No stopping places or waiting in line for lunch. Sit properly on benches and don’t overcrowd.”

It concluded: “This new rule has been made very clear to all our students so that they all understand.

“Teaching and support staff conducted presentations this week explaining our expectations so that each student understands why we are implementing this rule.

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