Essex school forbids romantic relationships and physical touch between students

Essex school forbids romantic relationships and physical touch between students

A secondary school has prohibited all physical contact between students and romantic connections, including embracing and hand-holding.

The letter sent by the Chelmsford school says forms of physical contact which are not tolerated include 'any aggressive physical contact, hugging, holding hands, slapping someone, etc'
In a ‘draconian’ crackdown on physical contact, the secondary school Hylands School in Chelmsford stated that they ‘do not permit’ romantic relationships.

Students who are caught using their mobile phones could have them locked away for the remainder of the school day.

Parents have criticized the guidelines and questioned the school’s argument that they promote ‘professional’ behavior among students.

The letter from the school in Chelmsford states that forceful physical contact, embracing, holding hands, slapping, etc., are not tolerated.

Executive headteacher Margaret Callaghan said most parents had been supportive of the policy (file image of children playing in a school playground)

The staff does not tolerate ‘any physical contact’ between school community members, according to a letter addressed by the assistant principal and viewed by EssexLive.

One parent at the school said that parents were not informed about the new policy prior to the January 9 letter.

Instead, their children informed them of the new restrictions.

The man, who wished to remain anonymous, stated, “I couldn’t believe it. I concur that inappropriate touching, such as hitting and punching, must be addressed in today’s society. However, they do not instruct students on how to maintain healthy relationships.

The implication is that no one can be touched, that children will not know what is and is not acceptable, and that their ability to empathize with their classmates is being removed.

‘I have a daughter, and she and her friends greet each other with hugs, but if they continue to do so, they will be isolated.’

The letter sent by the school in Chelmsford states that aggressive physical contact, hugging, holding hands, slapping, etc. are not acceptable forms of physical contact.

It says, ‘This is to ensure the safety of your youngster. If your youngster is touching another person without their consent, anything might occur.

It could cause an injury, make someone feel extremely uncomfortable, or result in inappropriate touching.

While we encourage your children to develop excellent, hopefully lifelong friendships, we do not permit romantic relationships. With your approval, your kid may engage in these connections outside of school.

We do not want your child to be distracted by interpersonal troubles at school because we want them to focus on their education.

In your child’s Personal Development classes, they will learn about positive, healthy relationships, and if they need advice or help, they can still speak with a trusted adult at school.

The dad stated, “It is human nature to assist a friend who has fallen down.”

Now, however, their privileges, such as lunch or morning breaks, or even isolation for the day, are under threat, which is so harsh.

“There has been an enormous outcry from other parents.” Partially due to a lack of communication with parents, we’ve only received information from students.

However, this strategy is so antiquated that it is unnecessary in this day and age. After the pandemic, when everyone was deprived of human interaction, you are now reversing progress. It will not benefit the mental wellness of students.

Ms. Maggie Callaghan, executive headteacher at Hylands School, replied, ‘We always endeavour to collaborate closely with parents to guarantee the safety and happiness of our students.

The majority of parents and students accept this approach, which fosters mutual respect and encourages students to conduct professionally, as would be expected by any future workplace.


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