Tuesday, June 19, 2007

No-Touching School

In a policy fitting of a TV Orange County jail, a public middle school recently implemented a no-touching (including hugs and shaking hands) rule.

The MSN poll revealed that most people thought it was crazy to do that, and I have no doubt that the country feels the same way.

While the story might be shocking and absurd, there's a reason it shouldn't be: statistics. They always say that a monkey with sufficient time will reproduce the works of Shakespeare. In the same way, given enough schools, one will surely have the set of administrators and teachers that will accept and implement such a policy.

As with terrorism and the lottery, people are bad at perceiving probabilities. The media know this, and they take advantage of it when they sell news. No one cares about where they might get in a car wreck, but the statistically rare, but predictable school is front page news.

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