A New Jersey middle school has done away with hugs—one of a handful that has banned the popular displays of affection. The ban at Matawan-Aberdeen Middle School was instituted after “some incidents of unsuitable, physical interactions between students” were observed. While some parents may roll their eyes, the schools that have banned hugging insist that hugging can be distracting, as well as facilitate bullying. Some students, officials say, simply don’t want to be hugged. Others might be distracted by ostentatious hugs: The principal at West Sylvan Middle School in Portland, Ore., said some of her students would run the length of the hallway to hug classmates. A student attending Southwest Middle School in Palm Bay, Fla., was suspended for hugging. “Honestly, I didn’t…think hugging was a bad thing,” said student Nick Martinez. “A lot of friends are hugging. I just happened to be the one doing it.” (Time)

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Paul Asay has written for Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. He writes about culture for Plugged In and has published several books, including his newest, Burning Bush 2.0 (Abingdon), available now. He lives in Colorado Springs. Check out his entertainment blog at Patheos.com/Blogs/WatchingGod or follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.