PDA culture at Beverly

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Lucas Harward, staff writer

Beverly, just like any other high school, is a petri-dish of teenage affection. With hormones raging, students will go much further than a simple, “What’s up?” to display their interest in whichever sex they prefer.

Among friends, this usually only amounts to some variation on the classic hug. However, when students become engaged in a more serious relationship, the public displays occasionally become more intensified. Many students are either indifferent to these public displays of affection (PDA), completely and utterly abhorred by them, or think that they are cute, but only to a point.

Senior Jackson Sloane prefers to leave it to the student’s discretion.

“We’re in high school. If a couple feels they want to kiss in public then there should be nothing wrong with that,” Sloane said.

Sophomore Noah Lee is also supportive of the rights of couples to enjoy their relationships.

“I believe that couples should be able to show a fair amount of affection. They’re lucky to be together and have the opportunity to see each other daily so they should have the right to take advantage of that,” Lee said.

Other Normans, like senior Chloe Barroukh, feel that the affection among couples can be postponed until a more appropriate time.

“I think people should wait until they are in a private location because it’s inconsiderate and it’s no one else’s business. It should be up to the student’s discretion, but they should choose to be respectful,” Barroukh said.

Many high schools and middle schools across the country have cracked down on PDA, according to this article by Time Magazine. Some schools have even banned hugging or high-fiving to assure they do not run into any issues involving student contact.

A supreme court decision in 1999 involving Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 has also played a large role in many schools’ serious approach to stopping PDA. These decisions require schools to take action to prevent any harassment of students by other students, and PDA could be a gateway to issues involving this decision.

Senior Riley Shapiro believes that more extreme PDA does not belong at school.

“School is a place for learning, not for hooking up in the hallways. It’s very gross and distracting as you walk to class,” Shapiro said.

Senior Daniela Shirazi feels that PDA is alright as long as it doesn’t get in the way of other students.

“I think it’s a little gross. Couples kiss each other in the hallways like they haven’t seen each other in weeks. I’m not against PDA, but I get a little disturbed when couples are groping each other when I’m simply trying to get to class,” Shirazi said.

According to House C assistant principal Michelle Halimi-Dar there is no specific rule pertaining to PDA, but more general student guidelines can be applied to it.

“It’s an unwritten policy and we believe as an administration and as a staff that this is a business environment, so we want to keep it appropriate. Anything that defines a workplace environment we believe should be here as well. If it makes people uncomfortable or it’s inappropriate, that’s when we would tell students to stop,” Halimi-Dar said.

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