Is Hand Holding As a Punishment Acceptable?

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Recently, two boys at Westwood High School in Mesa, Arizona were punished by being forced to publicly hold hands. After being caught fighting, the principle gave two options to the guilty students: be suspended from school or hold hands for 15 minutes during a lunch period while sitting in chairs in the school’s courtyard. The boys chose the latter option. The two were heavily taunted and jeered during their punishment. Many of their fellow students made homosexual related jokes at the expense of the boys. Various pictures and videos of the two shielding their faces in shame were posted on different social networks.

As news of this unusual disciplinary technique spread it began to garner criticism. Many people said that it unfairly positioned teens as targets for taunting, name-calling, and cruel jokes.

Once made aware of this, the school district issued the following statement, “Mesa Public Schools is dedicated to maintaining a safe and supportive learning environment. The district guidelines for appropriate student discipline and our site administrators have the authority to impose consequences within our policies and regulations. The district does not condone the choice of in-school discipline given these students, regardless of their acceptance or willingness to participate. District leadership will address this matter with the school principle and review district protocol regarding student discipline with all administrators.”

The SLA Pioneer asked several students and faculty what they thought about the situation.

Senior Helio Ferreira- “I think it’s ok because he offered them two optional, suspension or holding hands . It’ll discourage other kids other from fighting.”

Senior Kofi Omane -I don’t think the principle did anything wrong, he gave them a choice and he didn’t force them to do anything.”

Science teacher Mrs. Brahmia- “I don’t think the choices were appropriate. I don’t mind choices but I don’t like directing kids into embarrassing situations. I don’t know if the punishment really even taught them a lesson. Embarrassing situations like this can cause problems later on in life.”

It’s hard to ignore the controversial nature of this story. How do you feel about it? Leave a comment below!


About Brandon B.

I'm a proud Christian, above average sports fan and I'm currently in the process of growing up.

Posted on December 6, 2012, in News, Top Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I think this punishment is a Catch 22. While the holding of hands seems to be worthy punishment for two people that were just striking each other with said hands, I think it may be wrong because the motivation behind it appears to have been to play on the homophobic tendencies of the student body that taunted the two participants.

    Maybe a better punishment would have been to tie their arms and legs to one another, to show that through working together and not against each other, goals are achieved. Or, since it is Arizona, just let um duke it out with some 12 ouncers and call it good.

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