Sam McGowen, District Superintendent of Mascoutah Community schools, together with the admin­is­tra­tion of Mascoutah Middle School. On Friday last, they assigned a thirteen-​​year-​​old girl two days’ deten­tion for a pub­lic dis­play of affec­tion — which was in truth merely the girl giv­ing two friends brief hugs.

“I feel it is crazy,” said Megan, who was to serve her sec­ond deten­tion Tuesday after classes at Mascoutah Middle School.

I was just giv­ing them a hug good­bye for the week­end,” she said.

Megan’s mother, Melissa Coulter, said the embraces weren’t even real hugs — just an arm around the shoul­der and slight squeeze.

McGowen defended the “dis­ci­pli­nary” action, cit­ing a very poorly worded pas­sage from the stu­dent handbook.

On the girl’s part her par­ents sug­gested going along with the deten­tion since school pol­icy is a day’s sus­pen­sion for each day of deten­tion missed, and they quite log­i­cally didn’t want things to snow­ball. They plan to attend the next school board meet­ing, whereat I sin­cerely hope they will raise every kind of hell avail­able to them.

For teach­ing chil­dren that hug­ging friends is A Very Bad Thing To Do, McGowen et. al. have cer­tainly earned their Soylies. Next time you won­der what the hell is wrong with the kids today, remem­ber that they’re not even sup­posed to have affec­tion­ate con­tact with peo­ple whom they like. At least, not in public.

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