Desperation is slowly setting in with the educational overseers of our prepubescent and adolescent inmates at America’s public schools. Zero tolerance for innocence is now the rule. Normal affection between human beings has become grounds for opprobrium and punishment at school.
In Palm Bay Florida, for example, a middle school student was suspended for hugging a friend in the hallway between classes.
There’s a zero-tolerance for hugging policy at this school. There’s no difference between an unwanted hug, or sexual harassment, and a hug between friends according to Southwest Middle School's student handbook and strict zero-tolerance for affection policy.
The kid gave a quick hug to his best female friend. The principal saw it. The hug was innocent. He knew that. But both kids were brought to the dean’s office. Both were suspended for violating the zero-tolerance for hugging policy.
“[W]e cannot discriminate or make an opinion on what is an appropriate hug, what's not an appropriate hug," a school district spokesperson explained. "What you may think is appropriate, another person may view as inappropriate."
Elsewhere in Florida, a hysterical Orange River Elementary School administrator called the cops when a 12-year-old girl was spotted planting a kiss on a boy during recess.
On the playground one day two little 12-year-old girls were apparently discussing the matter as to which of them liked a 12-year-old boy more when one of them just walked over and kissed the lucky lad.
Lee County Sheriff’s deputies were immediately dispatched to the playground scene of the “crime” by a call from the schools assistant principal to deal with the situation between two consenting school children who shared an innocent little kiss.
"They called us and said they caught two children kissing on the playground," Sgt. Stephanie Eller told Fox News & Commentary. The deputies took a report and documented the incident, but determined no crime had been committed. No one was arrested, she added.
"If it had been a crime at all it would have been a simple battery,” said Eller. “The battery consists of the unwanted touching of one person to another."
So now I suppose that innocent games of tag on playgrounds all across America will give rise to “crimes” of unwanted touching – battery in the schoolyard – for which the little ones involved will be arrested, handcuffed, and taken to the police station for booking and punishment.
Zero tolerance for touching. Zero tolerance for discretion. Zero tolerance for common sense.
Will a pat on the back or the shaking of innocent hands be next?