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US school declares hug-free zone

Posted at | Updated as of 03/26/12 7:31 PM

NEW YORK - Lesson of the day at one New Jersey school: "No hugging."

The principal at Matawan Aberdeen Middle School, which teaches more than 900 children of 11 to 14 years old, has caused a ruckus with his announcement that from now on they are part of a "no hugging school."

The measure aimed to iron out what the regional school district delicately called "incidents of unsuitable, physical interactions."

When the hugging fatwa triggered a wave of media snickering, officials backtracked and said hugging was OK -- sort of.

"There is no policy specific to hugging and we have not nor will we be suspending students for hugging," David Healy, superintendent of schools in the district, said in a statement Thursday.

"It is unfortunate that there are those who find purpose and humor in sensationalizing such a routine school-related issue."

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