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NJ Middle School Principal Who Banned Hugging Resigns


"Some students had prolonged, overly physical contact..."

Last month, The Blaze reported about Matawan-Aberdeen Middle School Principal Tyler Blackmore's decision that his school would become a "no hugging" zone. As you may recall, the reasoning behind the ban on student embraces was centered upon the allegation that there were some "incidents of unsuitable physical interactions."

Now, it seems the principal is moving on -- literally. On April 5, Blackmore filed his resignation from Matawan-Aberdeen Middle School, where he had worked since July 2010. In an interview with the Asbury Park Press, School Board President Charles Kenny said that the resignation was a personnel matter and the reasons behind it were confidential. The Press recaps last month's events:

On March 22, Blackmore told students at the middle school that they were in a “no-hugging school.” District officials came to Blackmore’s support at the time, with Superintendent David M. Healy releasing a statement that night saying the announcement was intended to address incidents of “unsuitable physical interactions between students.”

“There is no policy specific to hugging, and we have not, nor will we be, suspending students for hugging,” Healy said in the statement, adding that the Board of Education does have policies in place to address bullying, inappropriate relationships and inappropriate conduct.

At a Board of Education meeting on March 26, Kenny explained the principal's controversial "no hugging policy" and maintained that it was "not at all intended to prohibit a passing embrace."

"Some students had prolonged, overly physical contact that (Blackmore) considered inappropriate for the middle school," Kenny said at the time.

There is no indication that the hugging controversy was at the center of his decision to leave the school.

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