The decrease in touch has been explored in recent literature in relation to child protection discourses and no touch policies and it has been suggested that Physical Education (PE) has been weakened by the lack of touch. Significantly, the issue of touch has remained largely unexplored in Latin societies, which are characterised by an amplified tactile approach to people and comparatively little personal space. This paper examines how a group of pre-service PE teachers in Spain responded to, acted and negotiated touch with primary school students. It draws on data generated from body journals and the concepts of risk society, surveillance and moral panic. The findings indicate that touching school students is still common practice in Spain and was considered something positive. The influence of other individuals and certain spaces was also noted by participants, who felt more surveilled and distressed on particular occasions and some of them strategically introduced touch with students in a progressive manner. The results of the study invite us to reflect on the possibility of doing more harm than good by presenting topics about touch to pre-service teachers and how pre-service teacher educators may need to provide PE students with proper resources and understandings to successfully negotiate touch with school students.
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