Public Affection: How much is too much?

School staff reels in public displays of affection in high school halls

Maria Miranda, Staff Writer

School staff has been re-emphasizing the rules limiting public displays of affection after some students started taking their affection too far in the halls. Students are split on how much affection is too much.
“This rule being enforced honestly doesn’t affect me, but at the same time I think it should not be against to rules to show your affection to someone with a quick hug,” said freshman Brooke Jelinek.
Teachers and administrators have cracked down on inappropriate PDA more since the start of second semester. The students have diverse opinions about the reasons of the stronger enforcement of this rule.
“I think the rule is being more enforced now because there are people who feel like they should hold on to each other for the entire break in between classes,” said junior Damian Adams.
The limitations on PDA have always been enforced, but, according to administrators, every now and then they have to re-emphasize and make clear the exact expectations.The student handbook states that inappropriate Public Display of Affection is physical contact that is inappropriate for the school setting, including, but not limited to, kissing and groping. The rules are in the handbook and, as always, the school follows what it says since it is board policy.
The school staff was struggling with the fact that some students do not know when to stop, and how to act with their loved ones in the school hallways, or in front of other people in general. They made the decision of reminding the student body what kind of affection was acceptable and what was not in the school area.
“I think this rule is being enforced more now because there were a couple of people that were being kind of disrespectful in front of teachers by purposely hugging their boyfriends/girlfriends on purpose,” said junior Taylor Goetz.
“The problem with hugging is where does it stop? What one person calls a ‘casual hug’ is often seen as excessive by another. We don’t want to be in the business of timing how long hugs are or arguing what is or isn’t a casual hug. We don’t have that problem with holding hands,” principal Randy Luebbert said.
Many people think that it is acceptable to kiss and hug in public, and many others think that this behavior is disrespectful. According to the website Etiquette showing affection with a more subtle touch or expression of affection can be much more romantic than embarrassing PDA. They claim that a brief kiss on the cheek and holding hands can have more meaning than making out or groping in public.
“I think this rule is being more enforced because some people lately have been thinking it is okay to latch on to each other in the hallway and not let go,” said junior Kaitlyn Laue.