Indiana school clarifies ‘zero dating policy’ issued at elementary school

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INDIANA (CNN) – What if you were told you had two days to end things with your boyfriend or girlfriend?

That’s what teachers told students at a school in Indiana.

Some people say it’s a good idea – we’re talking about 5th graders here. But others say they went too far.

Gina Glaros explains why the school tried to ban dating in the first place. And why they’ve backed off from that ban now.

“He came home really upset. He thought he was going to have to break up with his girlfriend and we’re like Aiden, no. They can’t, they can’t do that.”
Briana bower says teachers first talked to her 10-year-old son and other fifth graders.

Bower also received a text from his teacher that morning.

“You’re telling my kid you have to break up with his girlfriend before you have my consent to even talk to him. That’s a parental choice.”

The letter sent home Wednesday read in part: “To combat students having broken hearts, we have implemented a zero-dating policy.”

Students were given Tuesday and Wednesday to make sure that relationships have ended.

“They’re worried about the heartbreak but what about the anxiety that comes with that?”

Others agree with the school.

“First of all, that shouldn’t even be going on in school. Sending a letter home is probably letting the parents know that there are some things going on at school that shouldn’t be. So yeah, sending a letter home is probably a good thing.”

The greater Clark County School District says it received concerns from two parents.

The school has 75 fifth graders.

The district and riverside elementary sent a statement to WDRB and emailed parents Thursday.

It said in part: “in retrospect, the phrases, “zero dating policy” and the request to take Tuesday and Wednesday to “end” relationships misrepresented the intentions of the teachers. While the team of teachers were trying to protect students, the wording is what caused alarm.”

Although the statement does not specify, a district spokesperson tells WDRB that teachers are no longer encouraging and enforcing students to end relationships.

“My main goal is it doesn’t happen to other kids down the road.”

The email to parents also encourages them to talk to their kids about focusing on their schoolwork and friendships.

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(This story was originally published on Sept. 27, 2019)

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