Santa and sir forbidden to touch children

20th April 2001 at 01:00
THE risk of child abuse allegations is forcing male teachers and department store Santas to adopt the same set of physical-contact guidelines.

Alison Jones of Auckland University, New Zealand, interviewed new primary teachers, and found each had learned that cuddling children, letting them hold your hand, lean against you or sit on your knee were "improper pleasures".

However, high fives and hand shakes are the new forms of acceptable masculinity.

Ms Jones also attended a Santa school, a one-day class for seasonal staff in shoping malls. Santas were told not to bend down to pick up children, only to touch them on the shoulder or arm, and to avoid children's arms round the neck. Gloved hands must be visible at all times. With teenage girls, Santa is advised to sit with his hands glued to the arms of his chair.

Ms Jones said: "Men are reverting to the traditional masculine ways of showing affection, once criticised for lacking emotional warmth."

'Learning proper masculine pleasure: Santa and the teacher' by Alison Jones:

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now