Opinion: PDA-AAA!

Miranda Kawiecki and Ayah Khamis

You’ve seen them kissing in the hallways, the oxygen thieves that haunt your locker at 7:30 in the morning. You might have almost tripped over them cuddling in the stairwell. You walk past them in the hallways holding onto each other so tightly as if one of them has been drafted off to war. They are the high school couples that participate in the infamous act of PDA– Public Displays of Affection.

Our student handbook does not address this topic, nor do any other high schools in the area. However, there is an unspoken understanding that kissing and affectionate touching are inappropriate and off-putting in a school setting. Most Hills students have experienced the discomfort of diverting their eyes from an afternoon makeout session. We are not alone in this sentiment; some students expressed their frustrations with us. 

On observation of sophomore couples, a freshman student stated, “My friends and I have all decided that it’s all for show.” The student, who asked to remain anonymous, expounded that this has to be the only explanation for showing affection in front of large numbers of peers. 

Senior Emilia Szczepaniak shared, “I discourage it. Love people, but don’t get too romantic.” Laughing, she continued, “High-fiving and hugging are the best ways to show affection.”

According to Mr. Merle, one of Hills’ assistant principals and disciplinaries, inappropriate affectionate behavior isn’t any different than inappropriate behavior at large. Although the student handbook does not highlight this facet of school expectations,  PDA has its own category on a list of behaviors that one may be written up for— number 13: inappropriate affectionate behavior.

Mr. Merle made it clear that the Hills administration believes in progressive discipline. If a student were to disturb other students with their PDA, then they would receive a warning followed by a discussion. If need be, more action would follow.

“Do I think it’s a major issue here at Hills? I do not,” he stated. “There are other things that are far more concerning, like vaping and things of nature. At the end of the day, it’s about making sure that everyone is comfortable, whether going to their locker or walking to class. There’s nothing wrong with holding hands, giving hugs, or a quick kiss. But you really shouldn’t go any further than those things.” 

We understand that couples have different love languages. But more detached things like words of affirmation may be the way to go while traveling to classes at Hills or sitting in the cafeteria. To reinstate Mr. Merle, school is an environment designed for learning. 

Us? Jealous? Oh, please. Most of us may be single, but we do not need live kissing lessons. Let’s get to the point: PDA is uncomfortable and cringey, especially when it crosses your peers’ boundaries and physical space.

 

Or maybe we are just lonely. Who knows.