Parents lawyer-up after school punishes eighth-grader for giving friend innocent hug

hugA Central Florida middle schooler got into trouble for giving her friend, who was having a bad day, a brief, commiserate hug.

Jackson Heights Middle School eighth-grader Ella Fishbough’s thoughtful gesture earned her detention, and her family has hired an attorney to, if nothing else, raise public awareness of the school’s ridiculous policy.

The school’s decision “sends the wrong message to our children,” attorney Matt Morgan said. “They should be encouraged to be kind, not discouraged.”

This is the second incident of “unlawful hugging” for the girl. The first involved the same boy and resulted in a warning, according to Kathy Fishbough, Ella’s mother.

“I’m definitely hoping that we’re bringing light to this subject,” Kathy Fishbough told Orlando’s WKMG News Channel 6. “I really didn’t expect this.”

Seminole County School District spokesman, Michael Lawrence, said officials would review the no-hugging rule.

“If you’re hugging your friends, you just won a big game, they’re all mobbing you and giving you a hug, or you just saw your friend over the summer and you’re greeting them briefly for the first time, that’s OK,” he said.

But not if you want to perk up a friend who’s feeling down?

The girl’s detention began Friday.

Watch the video, via WKMG.

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