Canada bans hugs and kisses

3rd March 2000 at 00:00
ZERO-TOLERANCE in Canada's schools has reached forbidding heights, writes Nathan Greenfield.

A Halifax junior high has suspended four students, including a girl with a top grade average, for boisterous play in the snow. This week a primary banned tag, and snowball fights. And, since January, schools in Manitoba have banned hugging and kising.

Critics say schools are criminalising half the student body. The suspensions prompted Halifax pupils to walk out on Monday, saying the rules, designed to stop bullying, were being used to prevent them back-slapping and hugging. They carried posters saying: "We want a school not a prison", and "We want hugs not punches".

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