Affectionate Students Go Too Far in Public Places

Reputations, getting to class on time and academics sometimes go on the back burner when it comes to Penn Manor’s PDA-loving students.

PDA stands for public displays of affection which can be defined and displayed in many different ways.

A couple embrace between classes. Photo by Kim Blake

According to administration, teachers and a large majority of students, PDA is on the rise and many are “disgusted” and “grossed out” by some of the things they’ve seen.

Since the 2006-2007 school year, the number of students referred to the office has increased, according to discipline records. Most cases though are not reported to the administration unless extreme.

Students are mostly cooperative when approached, claimed several teachers who have reported excessive PDAs in the hallways.

What is appropriate PDA and how much is too much? How far does it have to go until it “grosses out” many passing students?

“I think there’s a time and place for it, but it’s not at school,” junior Jon Carty said.  “Holding hands is OK  but people don’t want to see spit-swapping and face-sucking.”

But grossed out or not, surprisingly over half of students questioned have been involved in some form of PDA themselves.

Principal Phil Gale is enforcing the rules against excessive PDAs. Photo by Christa Charles

Principal Phil Gale said he feels that students are acting as if “(they) are going to war, not a 90 minute class.”

That doesn’t mean that all PDAs end up in a discipline referral.

The administration understands that high school students can feel the need to show affection and sometimes apply the rules as they feel necessary. But, they also view the extreme behaviors as a distraction to the students near by and a hindrance for everyone getting to class on time.

Senior Kelly McHugh said, “I think  a little bit is okay, but sometimes it gets distracting. Holding hands and a kiss is okay.”

“I hate it!” exclaimed senior Jill Zimmerman.

“I think it’s gross,” said sophomore Amanda Martin, “people don’t want to see it.”

On the other hand, seniors like Riannon Herr and Braiden Weber have a different take on it.

Emily Nickel and Clark Habecker kissing in the stairwell. Photo by Christa Charles

“PDA is okay because you can learn some new moves,” said Herr.

Also, a lunch table full of junior guys all agreed it is “perfectly acceptable” and “isn’t much of an issue.”

As long as students are not “competing for the longest kiss in movie history,” then I’m not going to stop them, said Ms. Cox.

Despite having to deal with things such as hardcore kisses, disrespectful responses,  and students’ lip rings getting caught together, Penn Manor students mostly follow the rules when it comes to sharing the love.

By Christa Charles

2 thoughts on “Affectionate Students Go Too Far in Public Places”

  1. Wow, this is so spot on. Handholding is just peachy with me, I mean how many of us can honestly say that we haven’t at least tried to hold someone’s hand in the hall. Boyfriend/girlfriend, BFF, friend, or total stranger. That’s totally okay but I don’t want to see people trying to perform throat surgery with their tongues. Ew.

  2. Public displays of affection between unmarried couples disgusts me. It goes against God’s will, and the word of God is supreme. The Bible is infallible, for it is the word of GOD.

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