Giving hugs

Special needs students should be allowed to show their affection for others

Allyson Imhoff, Fall 2016 J1 2016

The other day I was walking down the 300 hallway with my friend, when a special needs student that she had been friends with since middle school gave her a hug.

The teacher walking with him yanked him off of her and said, “No hugs!”

This really shocked me — I had no idea that students with special needs were not allowed to hug their friends.

That is not quite right because all they may be trying to do is become better friends with their peers who they see every day. How is it wrong to hug a friend in the hallway?

Special needs students at Blue Valley should not be restricted from hugging their friends. When I see my friends, I give them hugs and people with disabilities should be able to do the same.

When someone sees a friend, they greet them with high fives, hugs or handshakes. By telling special needs students that they are not allowed to do this may make them feel different than other students. BV should allow their students, special needs or not, to say hello to their peers in whatever way they feel comfortable.

Giving hugs to other special needs students may cause problems but if someone wants to hug a friend they should be allowed to. Hugs help create better relationships between students and allow friends to show their appreciation for one another.

Every student in BV should be treated the same no matter how smart or advanced they are. No student should be told to stop doing something that does not go against the law or hurt another student.screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-1-24-07-pm

If the rule is in place because the students don’t ask permission to hug others, maybe people can try to show them how to ask before hugging. Other students could teach them by asking them if they want a hug. The special needs student will eventually realize hugs are something that not everyone likes and they will start to hug people after asking their permission.

Sometimes it is hard to keep special needs students from hugging people for too long. We can stop this by explaining to the students that people don’t like to be hugged for such long periods of time.

All that these students may want is a safe and loving environment where they can be friendly and close to everyone and feel accepted by all.