School Bussing Banned in Massachusetts District

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®MDBO¯ The Ware, Mass., school board has instituted a policy designed to curtail public displays of affection in the district's high school.

As of the start of this school year, the 500 9th through 12th graders at Ware High School are not allowed to kiss in the halls, according to Principal Peter Thamel. If they are caught bussing, according to the new rule, they will receive demerits that could lead to three-day in-school suspensions.

"Anything beyond a peck on a6cheek or holding hands, I consider inappropriate in the schools," said Mr. Thamel, who supports the new rule.

The change in the school's demerit policy came following two years of "informal discussion" by faculty members and administrators on how to deal with the "embarrassment" caused by the six or eight couples who regularly kissed in the halls between classes, Mr. Thamel said.

Finally, the school board voted to ban such extracurricular activities. Under the new system, teachers who catch students kissing in the halls send them to Mr. Thamel's office, where the principal doles out the demerits.

The rule, Mr. Thamel notes, is more of a deterrent than a disciplinary action. "Our students consider it a very minor thing," he said.

Minor or not, since the institution of the new policy, Mr. Thamel said, there has been little or no hallway bussing.

Vol. 04, Issue 05

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