Australian School Bans Clapping, Permits Students to Do ‘Silent Cheers’ Instead

By Sherley Boursiquot
Sherley Boursiquot
Sherley Boursiquot
July 20, 2016 Updated: July 20, 2016

A primary school in Sydney, Australia, has banned students from clapping at assemblies because members of the school community “are sensitive to noise.”

As a substitution, students are allowed to “silent cheer,” “pull excited faces,” “punch the air,” and “wriggle about on the spot”—but only if they have their teacher’s permission.

Elanora Heights Public School made the announcement on July 18, saying, “When you attend an assembly, teachers will prompt the audience to conduct a silent cheer if it is needed.”

When students do not clap, it “expends children’s energy” and “reduces fidgeting,” the school’s newsletter reads.

Screengrab of the July 18 Newsletter (Elanora Heights Public School)
Screengrab of the July 18 Newsletter. (Elanora Heights Public School)

To protect sensitive children in other ways, hugging has also been reportedly banned in some Australian schools.

St Patricks Primary School in Geelong, Victoria, asked students to give a high five or clink knuckles to show affection rather than to hug.

The children would not be punished for hugging, according to the principal, only reminded that there are other ways to show affection.