Thursday, February 22, 2007

Keep your hands to yourself

Should students be allowed to touch each other? I'm not so sure. In fact, if I ran a school system I think I would enforce a strict no-touching policy. Here's why:

1. Students constantly push each other into lockers, into walls, into other students, into teachers. A junior pushed a freshman boy into me yesterday...hard. Needless to say, I did not appreciate it.
2. Male students slapping girls on the backside....and vice versa. Allowing this behavior condones sexual harassment and escalates sexual violence outside of school.
3. Pushing and horseplay often lead to "real" fights. Example: two students are "just foolin' around" when one of them pushes the other a little too hard. He responds by pushing his friend a little harder, and soon they are throwing punches and wrestling in the hallway. Some bystander, rather than stopping the fight, encourages them on, and soon everyone within a three-block radius is rushing to watch the entertainment.

People who oppose a no-touching policy might point out the benefits of a hardy handshake or a well-timed pat on the back. I would respond by saying for every handshake I've seen at my school, I've seen about five or six pushes, slaps, and punches. If I were a student, I would not feel safe in the hallway, where full-sized men-children push people around and girls constantly slap and trip their friends and enemies alike. School should install a love of learning in children; when there is too much touching, the only thing installed in students is fear. And maybe some bruises.


Blogger Coby said...

Hi Joel,
This is going to sound weird, but I am contacting you because I am a friend of Jon Zarandonas and I have lost contact with him. I googled his name along with the town he teaches in and your blog popped up. Strange eh. Surely there is only one John Zarandona in the Leland area. Can you have him contact me? Thanks.

11:56 AM  
Blogger Joel Hebert said...

Sure Coby.


11:13 AM  

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