Physical Contact from Teacher

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Do you feel it’s appropriate for teachers to hug their students?

If you were a teacher, would you give a student who looked like they needed it a hug?
As a parent, would you expect them to hug / not hug? Would you want permission before a teacher hugs your child?

Does it differ if your child is a preschooler or older student?
Special needs or Regular needs?

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8 responses to “Physical Contact from Teacher

  1. I, personally, have no issues with a teacher hugging my children, I actually encourage it, it builds a bond, it let’s the child know that the teacher truly cares about them as an individual. There are children that don’t get hugs anywhere and if it is a teacher that provides that well needed connection so be it.

  2. I’m with Josie on this one. I have no issues with it, so long as my child is comfortable with the physical contact.

    If hugs were not something the child were comfortable giving/accepting from the teacher, and they still tried to force it on them, then I would have an issue. Adults have to respect a child’s wishes when it comes to physical contact. If that weren’t happening with a *anyone* then I would cause a fuss.

    As the wife of a teacher however, I’m would not be comfortable with him hugging a student. It could land him into serious trouble. It was only a couple of years ago a male teacher in Toronto lost his job for hugging a student. All it takes is one accusation to ruin your career. Even if you’re proven guilty, in the eyes of the community you will always be the one who ‘got off’ or ‘beat the system’.

    It’s just not worth the risk.

  3. It depends on, to me, the age of the child and the frequency. We give our kindergartners hugs whenever they need them but obviously our fifth graders, it’s far and few in between. Maybe If the older one have had a really bad injury or they’re excited to see a teacher who’s been gone for a while. We mostly keep it to encouraging shoulder pats by the time they’re in 4th or fifth grade; Especially boys. ( please excuse any typos, I’m on my iPhone).

  4. I taught K-1 in Religious school and also had the same kids in preschool. They always wanted to sit on my lap and get hugs. I just felt that maybe a parent would think I was being inappropriate. It was always in the back of my mind. Now with my son who is 17, autistic and looks MUCH younger…I think there comes a time when it’s NOT appropriate. I remember working with a little boy with Downs once…and they determined that 12 was the cutoff. After that it turned to high-fives.

  5. Definitely, age matters.

    Hugging preschoolers seems quite natural to me, they need it a lot.

    In primary school, it might be necessary sometimes, but not as a general rule…

  6. My high school students really needed hugs, a lot of the time. They were in some really tough, difficult situations. When I couldn’t hug them any more because of my fibromyalgia, they developed something called an air hug.

  7. I take 3 group exercise classes a week at a gym I go to and all of my teachers are women and I have had one touch me on my arm and a sub who was a woman put her hand on my back and rub it. They are just caring teachers. So, I think there is no problem with it. I’ve never found there touching innapropriate. It dose’nt bother me at all

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