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.