Is it some new form of abstinence education? Or does the principal of Kilmer Middle School have a Howard Hughes-like aversion to touch? No one knows for sure, because no one can get close enough to Deborah Hernandez to find out why she won't permit physical contact of any kind on school grounds. (Even her school mug shot looks to have been taken at 20 paces.) Give your girlfriend a hug? No, no. High-five your buddy? Uh-uh. Brush up against someone in the hall between classes? Don't even think about it. Her rule, she tells a Washington Post reporter (by phone or email, we presume), is meant to preserve personal space. Kids, Hernandez argues, don't know what's too far. "You get into shades of gray," she says. They'll complain, "If he can high-five, then I can do this." Ah yes, the old slippery slope argument. Still, there's one upside to Hernandez's extreme keep-your-hands-to-yourself approach. Monitoring school dances is a breeze.

"Va. School's No-Contact Rule Is a Touchy Subject," by Maria Glod, Washington Post, June 18, 2007

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