By Dave Barron
A New York Times columnist recently wrote about the increase in “Hugging” by teenagers at high schools. It seems that some school officials are concerned about the frequency of hugging and some have established rules to ban it on campus.
I checked with a contact at a local high school and they have noticed some hugging going on among students.
The newspaper column referred to hugging as a form of innocent greeting rather than shaking hands or a “high five.”
Schools have rules against students openly displaying affection (necking) on the campus. Now, administrators will have to worry about hugging, too. With graduation time just around the corner, I can see where this might lead. For example, school officials might have to place signs at graduation ceremonies that state “No Hugging Permitted.”
Adults do their share of hugging when greeting old friends. Age and gender is not really a factor. Now days, young men are favoring what I call a “bro hug.”
I think the bro hug originated with African Americans. The “bro bug” is between men. They grasp each other’s right hands and then lean in. Sometimes they touch shoulders, some times not. Sometimes they may even touch cheeks.
Then there is the “Abrazo,” (as in “dame un abrazo, mano”). Latino males also hug each other, sometimes very firmly, if they have not seen each other in a long time.
My daughter, who is a head start teacher, tells me that her kids (3-4 year olds) are always hugging and kissing. She assumes they act that way because their parents are always hugging and kissing them when they leave them off in the morning and, later, when they pick them up.
If I was a school administrator, I wouldn’t worry too much about the hugging habit. It makes a nice subject for a column, however.
What do you think?