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US school bans hallway embraces

New York, Fri, 27 Apr 2012 ANI

New York, April 27 (ANI): A popular Brooklyn charter school in Windsor Terrace has issued a strict ban on hugging between classes.

The head of the Brooklyn Prospect Charter School said the decision wasn't anti-affection, just pro-punctuality.

But students feel they're being unfairly squeezed.

"The main reason it's annoying is it just feels like they're trying to control us so much," the New York Daily News quoted eighth-grader Sirce Skaife as saying.

"They allow so many other things," added Joshua Santana, another eighth-grader. "I don't understand why they stopped that."

Despite the kids' complaints, the school's boss stood his ground.

"We have a 'get to class on time' policy," said Dan Rubenstein, the school's executive director. "It's one of the reasons why we're among the most successful public middle schools in New York."

Rubenstein, a father of two, is a 17-year teaching veteran honored with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching in 2002.

His school, which has 300 students in grades 6 to 8, emphasizes order, with students required to wear polo shirts and slacks.

Grabbing a snack or hitting the bathrooms are also verboten during the three-minute breaks between classes in the two-story building.

Parent Zoe Pellegrino, whose daughter Leila is a seventh-grader, said she heartily embraced the no-hug decision.

"Given the choice, my daughter would probably hug eight or 10 friends on the way to class and then get there late," she said.

At least some parents see the humor in the situation.

"In Park Slope, with all its touchy-feeliness, it's kind of hilarious to ban hugs," said mom Alison Pennell. (ANI)

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