The country is up in arms over teenagers shamelessly groping each other, or, as some like to call it, “hugging.” The New York Times reported today that hugging is the new teenage greeting of choice. “The high-five is, like, boring,” says Katie Dea, an eighth grader in San Francisco. Hence, the hug.
“There is the basic friend hug, the bear hug, the bear claw, when a boy embraces a girl awkwardly with his elbows poking out. There is the hug that starts with a high-five, then moves into a fist bump, followed by a slap on the back and an embrace. There’s the shake and lean; the hug from behind; and, the newest addition, the triple — any combination of three girls and boys hugging at once. ‘We’re not afraid, we just get in and hug,’” said Danny Schneider, a junior, in The New York Times
Straight males embracing? Triple hugging? Good lord, SOMEONE HELP THESE POOR CHILDREN!!! Parents have begun taking careful observational notes in the field. “It’s a wordless custom, from what I’ve observed,” wrote Beth J. Harpaz, a columnist and the mother of two boys, 11 and 16. “Maybe it’s because all these kids do is text and go on Facebook so they don’t even have human contact anymore,” said Dona Eichner, the mother of freshman and junior girls. Yes, blame Facebook. I suppose the violence in video games is at fault as well? And what about rap lyrics?
It’s gotten so bad, that some schools in New Jersey, Oregon, and Arizona have banned hugging. “Touching and physical contact is very dangerous territory,” said Noreen Hajinlian, the principal at a junior high school in Hillsdale, N.J., where hugging has been banned for two years. Other schools have imposed a three-second rule. Because after that, who knows what can happen? After Shepherd Junior High in Phoenix forbid any hugs lasting over TWO seconds, students protested with a 20-minute, public hug-a-thon and chanted: “We want hugs! We want hugs!”
I would like to point out that: (a) teachers, parents, and school administrators have much bigger things they should be worrying about than hugging. For example, fighting, guns, teenage pregnancy, and dropout rates. And (b) who thinks hugging is something new? This has been going on at least since I was in middle school and that was forever ago.