School Climate & Safety

High School Kids: All Hugs and Texts?

By Catherine Gewertz — May 28, 2009 1 min read

A couple of good reads about teen life to check out in this week’s New York Times.

This story reports that teenagers’ proclivity to hug one another (honestly! the scandal!!) has prompted schools to ban embracing. The story says that parents are “often baffled” by the hugging behavior. One parent is quoted as saying that in her day, “hugging used to mean something.”

In this story, The Times quotes the interesting factoid that teenagers send an average of nearly 2,300 text messages a month (and I thought my kids sent a lot of texts!) An expert speculates that texting interferes with teenagers’ developmental trajectories.

Texting and hugging. Major threats to the health and safety of our teenagers?

I’m reminded of that story of the elementary-school-age girl who responded to her mother’s gender-stereotype objections to Barbie by saying, with an eyeroll, “Mom, it’s just a doll.”

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A version of this news article first appeared in the High School Connections blog.