Two 14-year-olds in Palm Beach, Florida weren’t expecting to be sent home from school when they greeted each other with an innocent hug.
Nancy Crescente was shocked to find out that Palm Bay Southwest Middle School suspended her son, Nickolas Martinez, and his friend.
“I thought it was the most bizarre thing I’ve ever heard,” Nancy Crescente told WOFL. “We’re a cultural family and this is what we do.”
“They said this is what they do across the board, it is what it is. And that was that.”
School administrators say there are no plans to update the “no hugging” policy that was approved by a committee of parents years ago.
“‘Public Displays of Affection’ is a school board policy,” Brevard County School spokesperson Nancy Davis explained. “It relates to kissing and holding hands and hugging. It is a blanket-wide policy across all schools here.”
But Nancy Crescente thinks that its time for that policy to change.
“There was nothing inappropriate. Hugging is mutual. It was a mutual hug, and I just don’t understand how something so innocent can be turned into this chaos.”
Watch the video below from WOFL, broadcast Nov. 3, 2011.