Teens approach hugging with open arms
By Lynn Thompson
"Boys are hugging boys. Girls are hugging girls. Girls are hugging boys. They're a hugging generation," said Joyce Stewart, principal of Evergreen Middle School in Everett.
Grown men hugging each other can make the news, as when Chinese President Hu Jintao hugged a Boeing supervisor during his April visit, largely because Chinese officials are known more for formality than spontaneity.
King County Executive Ron Sims, who has made a career of hugging, sees a sort of global warming when it comes to the affectionate embrace. "Around the world, everybody hugs," Sims said.
But in the hallways of the region's schools, all that hugging makes some administrators nervous.
"We try to discourage it," Stewart said, citing concern that such a gesture, given to the wrong person, could be interpreted as harassment or an unwanted sexual advance. Stewart said teachers at Evergreen avoid hugging students and try to prevent students from hugging them for the same reason.
At Brier-Terrace Middle School, Principal Bill Fritz said student
hugs must be limited to three seconds. After three seconds, the gesture enters
the red zone of Public Display of Affection
I'm not going to mock the kids or offer commentary on all this hugging.
But there are a few interesting points.
This article appeared on the main homepage of www.seattletimes.com, right next to an article about al-Qaida. In many cities, it would be ridiculous to give such prominence to this human interest story. But here, well, it's Seattle. With all its touch-y feel-y goodness. So it makes sense.
The other interesting things is that the article is really long. The newspaper actually gave this story some pretty in depth coverage.
Who says investigative reporting his dead?