When Nick Martinez, a 14-year-old student at Southwest Middle School in Palm Bay, Fla. hugged his female best friend in between classes, he thought nothing of it. His principal did, however, and escorted both students to the dean's office where they each received one-day in-school suspensions, WKMG reported.
The school has a strict, zero-tolerance policy on public displays of affection -- and hugging, even platonically, is against the rules.
Martinez told the station that he didn't know he was doing anything wrong.
"Honestly, I didn't know because I didn't think hugging was a bad thing," he told WKMG. "I didn't know you could get suspended for it."
Christine Davis, a spokesperson for the Brevard County School, told FOX News that the school's policy is meant to prevent wasting time on grey area situations.
"... We cannot discriminate or make an opinion on what is an appropriate hug, what's not an appropriate hug. What you may think is appropriate, another person may view as inappropriate."
Nancy Crescente, the boy's mother, told WKMG she believes there is "nothing wrong with hugging."
The mother also said she plans on talking with the school board in the hopes of changing the policy, but ABC News reported the school board has "no plans" to modify the rules.
The suspension will remain on both student's permanent records.