Special Needs Kids Can Hug Teacher Using Curtain

A caring teacher forced to keep social distancing from special needs kids in her class has created a “hugging curtain” so that they do not have to miss out on getting a cuddle.

Johnel Cronje has been a teacher for the last 34 years and currently works in the city of Bloemfontein, the capital city of the province of Free State of South Africa.

She currently works at the Martie du Plessis School for special needs children in the city and said she was devastated when she realised what all the implications of the coronavirus social distancing measures meant for her kids.

She told local media her immediate thought was: “How will we continue giving out hugs”. https://bit.ly/2D8qSvv

Credit: Real Press/@johrine.cronje
South African teacherJohnel Cronjé who has created a hugging curtain for special needs children that she cares for

She added: “My heart was broken. No more hugs. It was a daily ritual in my class and how we greeted each other and showed love. For me a hug meant that I cared, you are special and say that here you are safe. I just couldn’t live with the fact that we couldn’t give out hugs any more.”

But she then came up with the idea of the “hugging curtain” after seeing a story on the news about a grandmother that put up a strip of plastic so she could hug her grandchildren.

Johnel foot it was a brilliant idea, and set up a similar device complete with a space for the kids to put their arms in order to hug her in the classroom.

She insisted it was completely safe as well saying: “We sanitise everything and wash hands every time before we use the curtain. It was absolutely worth it and I am extremely grateful for my assistants and helpers for their patience and efforts.”

She added: “Everything might have changed around us, but hugs will remain.”

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Story By: James KingSub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency: Real Press

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