Classification of school environment plays important role in PDA tolerance

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Classification of school environment plays important role in PDA tolerance

CT Staff

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Public displays of affection, PDA for short, appear to be a highly-charged political topic.

The CT decided to write an editorial on this subject in response to our Opinion pages topic. Little did we know, this discussion would foster hostility and bitter debate.

There is nothing about PDA in Central’s school rules located in the Redbook. So, we tackled the question: When does PDA go too far?

Our staff decided there were six “levels” of PDA that we see in school: hand-holding, hugging, a quick peck on either the cheek or mouth, kissing with tongue, touching genital areas over clothes and touching genital areas under clothes.

Ninety-five percent of our staff said that hand-holding is acceptable at school. Ninety percent said that a quick kiss or a hug is okay. Less than 13 percent said that the remaining three categories were okay at school, with a unanimous agreement that touching genital areas under clothes at school is not okay.

Thus, CT, while not at a complete consensus, believes that the line for PDA at school is drawn at kissing with tongue. Anything less than that is generally okay, and anything more is generally not okay.

In our discussion, a central split between the staff arose over the concept of school being a professional environment.

Staff members who believe school is a professional environment said that because school is preparation for the real world, we should treat it as such. If you wouldn’t do something in an office building, these staff members believed that you shouldn’t do it at school.

Those who disagreed claim that since we are “kids,” school is a place for learning and self-discovery. While academics is certainly a part of that, so is sexual exploration. Thus, PDA shouldn’t be frowned upon or punishable in the school environment.

However, as a whole, our staff agreed that PDA is a tricky topic for teachers. Some faculty use public humiliation and jest to curb awkward situations, but at some point, this could be seen as harassment. So do teachers ask kids nicely to stop making out? This doesn’t seem appealing either.

School should be a safe place for students. As such, if PDA makes someone uncomfortable, it should not be allowed. Yet, since there are such a wide breadth of opinions on PDA, there is no entirely definitive place to draw the line for when PDA is too much.

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