Fla. Girl Gets Detention for Hugging Another Student

A Florida middle school girl was given detention after she gave her friend a hug before the bell rang for classes to begin for the day.  Jackson Heights Middle School eighth-grader Ella Riccard said the hug happened just before class on Monday morning and lasted about a second.  

The disputed contact has her parents questioning the Oviedo school’s policies.  "I don't think giving a hug warrants discipline," said mom Kathy Fishbough.

"The school district does not have a policy against hugging, and most hugging is acceptable and okay. It depends on the context of the hug," said Michael Lawrence, a Seminole County Public Schools communications officer.  "In this particular case, a lot of our schools have rules against public display of affection; and then therefore, they label hugging in that context as being inappropriate behavior."   Lawrence added that such behavior might include a romantic hug or an unwanted hug.

Fishbough said her daughter was given a warning after previously hugging the same boy. After this incident, Ella was given documentation about what not to do.