Anyone familiar with the lives of teachers is aware how rules and regulations impair their ability to interact with children in caring and loving ways. Male teachers, in particular, fear comforting a child and that might be a factor deterring more men from securing positions in elementary school. Michael Gove, Education Secretary in England, spoke forcefully for revamping education jargon and extending greater freedom to teachers in their quest to perform in a professional manner. He blasted current policy on school bullying which is spelled out in 500 pages of education jargon or 500 pages describing discipline issues in the classroom. He wants classrooms in which teachers can make professional judgments without fear they might have violated section 4, point 3 in amendment 7. “I don’t believe you should be able to hit children, but I do believe teachers need to know that they can physically restrain children, they can interpose themselves between two children that might be causing trouble or they can remove them from the class. He also made clear teachers have the right to comfort a child who needs a hug or some demonstration of physical concern.
Educators inhabit a world filled with rules and regulations. Anyone who has worked in any human service agency knows the fewer rules, the closer are teacher and student. If I am six years old, a hug might be the best thing I learned in school that day.