Education Opinion

No touching allowed

By Jessica Shyu — June 26, 2007 1 min read
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At 24, I’m old enough to truly understand the value of an excellent education. But I’m also young enough to realize that (many) kids don’t go to school only to learn. They go to school to socialize. (Admit it. You don’t remember the finer points of Dr. Chase’s knockout social studies lesson on Cameroon. You remember the finer points of Kevin from Spanish class.)

So isn’t it a disservice to students when we take away key opportunities to learn how to socialize appropriately with their peers? I thought my colleague was joking when she mentioned this article over lunch: “Va. School’s No-Contact Rule Is a Touchy Subject.”

But no, it’s for real.

Appropriate touching is an inevitable part of personal and professional socialization. I high-five, hug and shake hands all the time. People would think I was weird if I didn’t. Or at least unfriendly. By banning appropriate touching along with the inappropriate, we are silently teaching our children that all human contact is bad. Far worse than that, by not taking time out to teach acceptable behaviors and problem solving skills in school, we’re cultivating a generation of people who will lack these abilities in society.

Also, check out what blogger and psychologist Dr. Helen has to say about this rule.

The opinions expressed in New Terrain are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.