Sean Webber ‘17 – It’s not unusual to experience the excited, jumpy, and nervous feelings of young love during high school; it’s practically expected. As students, our whole lives revolve around school, so it makes sense that our hormonal bodies will add feelings into the mix. Romeo High School is no different; we have our fair share of couples and young lovers who like to express their puppy love during school hours. When things turn physical at school, it’s referred to as PDA, or a “Public Display of Affection”. But how do students feel about witnessing PDA rather than displaying it?
While some say PDA is just another part of being in high school, others argue that it’s inappropriate and that school policies regarding PDA should be more tightly enforced by administrators. At Romeo High School, page 27 of the student handbook defines PDA as being “indecent”. Indecency can be punished by an after school detention on the first offense, and any punishment deemed appropriate by a school administrator can be applied to any incidents afterwards.
I was curious what students here at RHS had to say about PDA, so I ventured out into the halls of RHS to set the record straight.
Almost all of the students I spoke with said that they did not have an issue with their classmates showing a moderate amount of affection in the hallways.
“If I were in a relationship, I would be doing the same thing,” said one student.
Of the students who did not oppose PDA, half of them noted that a “reasonable limit” should be followed.
“It’s common sense: kissing is one thing, but swallowing each other’s tongues is another,” said another student.
They had the strongest opinion toward couples who walk slowly during passing time, not allowing enough room for others to pass them in order to arrive to their next class on time.
RHS administrator Melissa Arendts shared the same opinion.
“As an administrator, I don’t mind the holding hands, a peck on the cheek or on the lips to say goodbye; but anything beyond that is not allowed,” Arendts commented.
Only one student I spoke with totally opposed PDA, noting that it provoked her gag reflex.
Personally, I stand with the majority of Romeo students regarding a reasonable limits policy. I do not have an issue with people expressing their feelings, however, they shouldn’t be expressing themselves in ways that make others extremely uncomfortable or cause human traffic jams throughout our already crowded building.
All said and done, publicly displaying your affection in Romeo boils down to respect and empathy. If you are in someone else’s way, choose a place that’s off to the side. If you would be uncomfortable watching someone else do what you’re doing, tone it down.