Public displays of affection have their limits

Lili Burleson, Staff Writer

John Sevier Middle School has strict rules when it comes to public displays of affection. Teachers can be too strict and students aren’t too happy about.

Teachers will sometimes separate two people in the hallways for simply hugging. Their perspective is understandable, but there are multiple reasons why a student might hug another. Hugging can be used to comfort another or to simply show that one feels something for another.

The first reason is to comfort someone who is in pain. This type of hug contains no provocative intention. Teachers should know when not to separate two students or call them out for PDA. This shouldn’t cause any attention.

Another reason is because of love, or simply liking another person, as a middle school student might say. Students who hug out of affection don’ t mean any harm by it.

The main reason students should be called out regarding hugging is if there is any groping or if the embrace is unwanted. That would cause some unnecessary attention and many students would feel uncomfortable having to watch this display.

Teachers should not give so much attention to holding hands, either. The two students aren’t actually in any uncomfortable or provocative embrace. It does show some affection towards the person’s hand the student is holding, but they aren’t saying anything overly sexualized or rude.

Kissing is yet another display of affection, but it is shown in the following ways; kissing of the cheek, neck, lips, or making out. Simple pecks or quick kisses on the cheek should be dismissed. The students aren’t trying to make anyone uncomfortable and very few are.

Clearly, there is a line students should not cross. They should not start making out in the hallways. Students also should not touch another student in a provocative manner at school, period, but especially without the other person’s consent.

Teachers seem to have mixed feelings about PDA. Normally, teachers will either try to prevent anything that classifies as PDA, or they seem to ignore all PDA.

Teachers who care too much will often separate two mutual friends and stop them from giving each other a side arm hug for a quick second. While the teachers’ actions are understandable, considering the fact that public displays of affections can escalate, there is a point at which some teachers need to calm down.

The teachers who do not seem to care, on the other hand, should start to care. The most common types of PDA don’ t matter, but other types do need to be given some negative attention. Students should be mature enough, at this age, to be able to tolerate simple pecks. However, they shouldn’t have to tolerate anything over the line.

Overall, PDA, in some cases, is tolerable and is given too much attention from teachers. Students should not feel as though they are in jail. A school should be a friendly and safe environment. Some freedom is good for human nature, but too much could cause chaos.

It is in human nature to crave human contact. A simple hug could make a person’s life a little more bearable.

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