According to a report, students at two schools in the United Kingdom have been banned from having any physical contact, including hugging and holding hands.
Officials at the Hylands School in Chelmsford, Essex, in England, instructed parents that students were not allowed to participate in “any aggressive contact” which includes “hugging,” or “holding hands,” according to BBC.
Catherine McMillan, the school’s assistant headteacher, said in the letter that the school “will not tolerate any physical contact within our community.”
“This includes any aggressive physical contact, hugging, holding hands, slapping someone, etc.,” the letter continued, noting the rule is to ensure safety. “This is in order to keep your child safe. If your child is touching somebody else, whether they are consenting or not, anything could happen.”
The letter explained that physical contact “could lead to an injury, make someone feel very uncomfortable, or someone being touched inappropriately.”
McMillan said the guidelines prevent “romantic relationships,” which are banned at the school. She noted, however, the school wishes children would “make really positive friendships.”
“If your child is asked to take their ‘hands off’ another student, they will receive a loss of privileges,” she added, according to local news station Essex Live.
Maggie Callaghan, the executive headteacher for Hylands School, told BBC the school prioritized “wellbeing at all times” and that the “policies are designed to support our culture of mutual respect and inclusion, and our most recent policy has received positive feedback from parents and pupils alike.”
Administrators at Southchurch High School in Southend-on-Sea, a coastal city in England, similarly instructed parents that students were not to make contact, according to a letter provided by BBC and seen by Fox News.
“Students are not allowed to touch each other whilst on site,” the letter read.
Exceptions included performing arts classes, where students likely have to make contact during dances, sporting contests and physical education courses.
“This will help to create a calm and orderly atmosphere and ensure that there is no confusion about play fighting or anything more serious,” the letter continued.
Both schools have received positive feedback over the changes, according to BBC.
Parents received the letters on Monday, Jan. 9.