Teachers at Indiana School Implement ‘Zero Dating Policy' for Students

Fifth-grade teachers at Riverside Elementary in southern Indiana wrote in a letter to parents that they are implementing a “zero dating policy"

Teachers at an Indiana school reportedly sent a letter home to parents asking that students no longer date. 

Fifth-grade teachers at Riverside Elementary in southern Indiana wrote that they are implementing a “zero dating policy,” according to NBC affiliate station Wave 3.

“At this age, children are dating and breaking up within days of each other. This leads to many broken hearts, which carry over into the classroom,” the letter, obtained by Wave 3, read.

The teachers said they were encouraging their students to “have many friends and develop strong friendships” and students were given a time frame “to make sure that relationships have ended.”

“We are truly just attempting to lessen the amount of broken hearts,” the letter read.

Some parents told the station they think the policy goes too far.

Briana Bower said her 10-year-old son Aiden has a girlfriend who is “his best friend.”

“He talks to her every day, they hang out outside of school, they don’t hold hands, they don’t kiss,” she said. “It’s innocent.”

The district said the letter was "not reviewed by the building principal, or district officials."

"The intentions of our teachers were to protect student feelings, encourage developmentally appropriate friendships, and protect instructional time," a district spokesperson said in a statement. "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."

The school said the teachers want to "have conversations about staying focused on academics at school and maintaining healthy friendships." 

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