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An Alabama student was disciplined for hugging a friend whose parent had just died.

•An Alabama student was disciplined for hugging a friend whose parent had just died. Lea Muir said her daughter was chastised and sent to detention for the hug, which contravened the school’s zero-tolerance policy on physical contact between students. Officials at Prattville Junior High School say they were merely enforcing school rules, but Muir says the school should use some common sense. What’s it going to come to next? she said. You can’t highfive or touch anybody?

•Assistant Homeland Security Secretary Julie Myers has apologized after awarding first prize in a Halloween costume contest to a white man dressed as an African- American prison inmate. Myers, who heads the Immigration and Customs Enforcement division, even posed for a photograph—subsequently destroyed—with the unnamed employee, who wore a striped prison jumpsuit, dreadlocks, and dark makeup. I deeply regret that this has happened, said Myers. An ICE spokesman stressed that the winning employee was not in blackface but merely wearing makeup darker than his natural skin tone.

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