Australian schoolgirl punished for hugging

Nov. 2, 2012 at 12:09 PM

BUNBURY, Australia, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- An Australian school that punished a girl, 12, for violating a ban on hugging established the policy after hugs got "out of control," the acting principal said.

Heidi Rome said she was "dumbfounded" when her daughter, Amber Ablett, was given a lunchtime detention at the Adam Road Primary School in Bunbury for giving a goodbye hug to a friend, Britain's Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

"It's not so much the detention -- it's the fact there is this rule and the psychological implications it could have," Rome said. "I don't usually bring forward complaints like this and I do like the school. It's not about slandering their name -- it's about this silly rule."

Gemma Preston, acting principal, said the rule was imposed last year after bruises and other injuries resulted from "overenthusiastic" hugs.

"This behavior was getting out of control with students hugging each other several times a day and this was becoming disruptive to classes," she said.

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