Due to the new one-lunch policy instituted this year, most students elect to eat in the halls. Eating however, is not the only thing going on. An inappropriate increase in the frequency of public displays of affection, or ., is leading to an uncomfortable experience when walking the hallways. PDA can be anything from hand holding to hugging to kissing and more.
Systems are in place to prevent PDA. The rules and regulations in the agenda book state that “public displays of affection are inappropriate at school or at school sponsored activities.” In the instance that this rule is broken, the minimum action is a referral to an administration, contact of parents and counseling conference. The maximum discipline that can take place is suspension/expulsion.
Although these rules and punishments are active, they are not always enforced by the security team. Different security guards have different ways of dealing with PDA. Security is, for the most part, OK with small amounts of PDA such as hand holding or hugs, but draw the line when it comes to kissing in public. “I tell them stop that, it’s the cold and flu season,” security assistant Chris Pucciarelli said.
Rules do not always stop students from breaking them. With almost every rule, there are people who do not follow it and decide to do it anyway. Even with the schoolwide rule against PDA, and the possibility of being disciplined, kids choose to show PDA with their significant other. “I kiss and show my girlfriend affection at school and in public, because I love her and it doesn’t bother me or her and I don’t care what other people think about it,” sophomore Thomas Clark said.
Besides the fact that there is a rule prohibiting PDA, it is inappropriate and it is unpleasant to walk past fellow students who are participating in this. During lunch, as well as other times throughout the day, it is undesirable to witness this as one is attempting to eat their food. “I do not like it when couples show public displays of affection because I think that it is disgusting and unappetizing, especially during lunch,” junior Mason Romm said.
Different administrators have different opinions on what they classify as PDA and what they believe to be appropriate in school. “Public displays of affection to me are anything from holding hands to actually making out. My view is that public display of affection is inappropriate in the school when you wouldn’t do that same thing in front of your mom and dad,” administrator Joseph Mamana said.
The rules against PDA are not heavily enforced and that is part of the reason why it is still going on. “When I see public displays of affection I pull the students aside and say to them ‘that’s really inappropriate.’ For a suspension there would have to be some sort of sexual act,” Mamana said.
Public displays of affection are inappropriate and unwanted in school. In order to put a stop to them once and for all, the security team and the administrators must work together and enforce the rules against it. If proper discipline is taken against students engaging in these acts, they will cease to occur.