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Tea w/ C : Public Display of Affection

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Tea w/ C : Public Display of Affection

Caroline Nagle, Staff Writer

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You’ve certainly seen it before: two lockers down, students kissing for an amount of time that you wonder if they are going to get to class on time. It makes other students so uncomfortable that they start commenting things like ‘get a room’ and ‘that’s so nasty.’

If you pick out any classic movie, Public Displays of Affection in high school are romanticized. It’s seen all the way back in the 1980s in the  opening of Sixteen Candles with the hand in the back pocket scene, an image  still occurring in the popular Netflix rom-com, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

PDAs are against the school rules. It can include kissing, hugging, holding hands, and even someone putting their arm around another person. PDA in schools is happening from the time kids are in kindergarten, hugging their fake boyfriend. However, as kids grow up, boyfriends aren’t fake and hugging becomes more meaningful.

The issue goes beyond couples not getting yelled at by teachers. It is that only some teachers are taking on this responsibility. The rules on PDA are important to follow because a simple hug or holding hands on the way to class can easily make students feel uncomfortable at school. Teachers have the ability to enforce the rule, yet some teachers act like they don’t even see it.

What kind of message does PDA during school send to students? That there is no time and place? It starts out as holding hands, but then it can easily escalate to full blown making out in the halls. To other students, it’s uncomfortable to witness. To the community, it shows how sexualized schools are. To the students doing whatever it is, it shows that there is nothing wrong with it, especially if nothing is even said to them.

If we’re discussing rule enforcement, what would be an appropriate punishment for PDA? Could you give students the same punishment for hugging as you would students that are kissing? Yes, because if the rule is no PDA, it’s no PDA. An appropriate punishment could range from a detention, to an out of school suspension.

If you punish the little things, bigger things will happen less. It has gotten to the point that if all you do is just say something to students, it is not effective.

That’s the Tea.

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Tea w/ C : Public Display of Affection