I could devote this entire Pors to stupid shit that authority figures, particularly school administrators, try to pass off as rules and good ideas.
Today, I've read an article about a rule so stupid, I nearly punched my computer. This isn't some "no senior prank" type of rule. This is a rule that at the very heart of it, has no purpose whatsoever.
You've heard of "No contact" sports? Well, how about "No contact" schools?
This particular school has set a ban on touching of any kind. That would include high-fiving, holding hands, hugging, and hand shakes. The claim is that "gangs" were using secret handshakes with each other to signify that they were, in fact, part of the gang. And that by banning it, it will help curb gang activity. Or something stupid like that.
Are you fucking kidding me? Where do I even start? In Vienna, Virginia, (and I'm speculating wildly here) I highly doubt that there's a serious gang problem in middle schools. Am I wrong? Fine. How about... Preventing kids from shaking hands to show they are in a gang will in no way stop them from being part of a gang. They can come up with secret codes, drawing, tattoos, clothing. In fact, these administrators, by banning physical contact, have forced all of these kids to find other ways to express these minor affiliations which are most likely more permanent than a handshake. Assuming there even is a gang problem.
But, for fuck's sake, preventing a kid from hugging his girlfriend or holding her hands? What does that teach kids? Affection for those you are close to is a bad thing?
Every time I write one of these rants, you will probably see the phrase "What does that teach kids?" or some variation of it. And if you have to ask that about a policy/rule at a school, chances are, the policy/rule is fucked and shouldn't be in place. I can't imagine who would think "Let's stop the kids from physically touching each other. That is a good idea." I am even more loathe to imagine that other people were given this idea, and they all signed off on it too. "Oh, hey, Mr. Henrickson [I just made up the name] came up with this 'No touching' thing. How great an idea is that? I totally agree."
You people are doing a great disservice to yourselves, to your students, and to your profession. You are fucking idiots. You are not teaching these kids how to learn. You are not teaching these kids a love of learning. You are not teaching these kids history or science or math or English or a foreign language or life skills.
What you are teaching these kids is twofold. First, you are teaching them how to be nitpicking little shitheads. By that, I mean that you are forcing these kids to find ways around a stupid rule. If they are in a gang, they will find something other than a secret handshake is my point. Secondly, you are teaching these kids that all touching is bad. And that is fucking ludicrous.
Touching is not always bad. In fact, it is rarely bad. It is teaching kids shit like this that causes so many frivolous sexual harassment lawsuits. It is teaching shit like this that makes kids call the cops when their parents are trying to give them a bath. It is shit like this that leads to kids being separated from their parents by social services because people don't understand where to draw the line anymore. They never learned it's ok to hug their friends and family, to high-five people after something awesome happens, to grab their girlfriend's ass. They learned that touching is inherently bad. They learned that you shouldn't touch anyone. And that's wrong. And that will cause these kids to be more sensitive to being touched than they should be. And that's fucked.