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Last Updated: Friday, 3 November 2006, 14:30 GMT
Head warns pupils against hugging
Hugging has got out of hand says the head teacher
A Cornish head teacher has defended his call for pupils not to hug each after an outbreak of potentially "inappropriate" behaviour.

Some parents have accused Mr Kenning of over-reacting after he issued the warning on Callington Community College's website.

"To avoid putting anyone at risk, please avoid hugging," he wrote.

Mr Kenning said on Friday he was concerned that huggers were invading the "personal space" of other pupils.

We haven't banned hugging and we never will ban hugging
Steve Kenning
His message, since removed, read: "Hugging has become very acceptable amongst students.

"This has led to some students believing that it is OK to go up to anyone and hug them, sometimes inappropriately.

"This is very serious, not only for the victim, but also for anyone accused of acting inappropriately. To avoid putting anyone at risk, please avoid hugging."

He told BBC News: "We just said to them please don't do it as often, which they have done.

"They still hug occasionally. We haven't banned hugging and we never will ban hugging.

"It's about respecting people's personal space, that's all."

He added: "It's like saying: 'Don't run down the corridor', which we do in case they fall over or bump into each other."

'Fantastic head teacher'

Debbie Thomas who has two children at the college, an 11 and a 14-year-old, said: "Kids like to meet and greet each other and that's how they do it.

"If it's getting out of hand and the students are doing it between lessons then I agree with it.

"But the majority of children seem to think that you cannot hug your friends any more."

She said children should be encouraged to be "friendly, happy and smiley".

"Mr Kenning is a fantastic head teacher and has done wonderful things for the college," she said.

"I just think he may have over-reacted slightly."

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