Boys Made To Publicly Hold Hands As Punishment For Fighting
A first-year principal in Mesa, Ariz., has been thrown into the spotlight for employing a controversial -- yet apparently effective -- method of student discipline.
When two Westwood High School students got in a fist fight during class this week, Principal Tim Richards gave the teens an choice: suspension or public humiliation -- by sitting next to each other holding hands in the school courtyard.
The students chose the latter, hanging their heads as peers watched and taunted them from all sides. Westwood students found the stunt funny.
"Kids were laughing at them and calling them names asking, 'Are you gay?'" student Brittney Smyers told ABC 15.
Photos of the freshman and sophomore hand-in-hand gained attention online, drawing praise from some who called the punishment effective. Charles Crockett, 14, one of the boys involved in the tussle, admitted to KPHO that he won't fight again. And while the punishment only lasted an hour, Charles says he skipped school the next day because the teasing became unbearable.
But critics say that the punishment encourages bullying, allowing students to publicly taunt the teens. Others have suggested that it sends a negative message about gay students by asserting that two males holding hands is an embarrassent.
KPHO reports that a sign near the school reads "Westwood neighborhood supports Principal Richard," but the district isn't standing behind the principal's move. District officials have released a statement, which reads in part:
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 principal, and review district protocol regarding student discipline with all administrators.
A disciplinary move at a Michigan school similarly attracted criticism earlier this month. McLeod Bethune Elementary-Middle School Principal Antoinette Pearson decided to stop serving lunch after a food fight broke out among 175 students in the cafeteria.
The punishment was quickly rescinded for violating state lunch program regulations.
Disgusting. And sure to provide even more shit for gays in a culture and climate that already is intolerant, mean-spirited and violent about gay matters.
Fire the principal.
Arizona is quickly surpassing Florida in amount of "WTF stories".
Arizona is trash.
That's hot. Pictures, please!
The HP comment section is crazy. I can't believe how some folks just don't get it. SMH!
Don't get what?
So why didn't they punish the bullies who taunted them? That's the problem, not the hand-holding.
I agree with the idea that it is still seemingly negatively portraying the idea of love between 2 males. I should think just having to sit side by side should be enough, they get the idea without the hand holding stuff and maybe some of the anti gay bias is removed. Aside from that, Arizona is one of the states that permits corporal punishment, so maybe a couple good cracks across the ass might wise them up.
obviously i'm in a minority here because i don't think there's anything wrong with shaming punishments. they are extremely effective. like the woman who had to stand on a street corner with a sign that said 'i'm an idiot' or something like that after she drove up on the sidewalk to get around some cars.
I also don't see anything homophobic in having them hold hands. holding hands is done in many cultures and does not necessarily mean someone is gay. it just means they like each other. i think that's the point, isn't it?
No, R9, you're an idiot.
R9 is an amazing idiot and I have some ocean front property in Phoenix I will sell you cheap.
]quote]so maybe a couple good cracks across the ass might wise them up.
Absolutely right! And a public spanking might just be humiliating enough to teach them the same lesson. Without resorting to homophobia to express a point.
If not homophobic then why would it be punishment?
I'm not r9, but holding hands as "punishment" is given (or was when I was a kid) to make the point that "hands are for holding, not for hitting" or to make the kids talk to each other and realize there is no reason to fight, to jumpstart a friendship that wasn't there or to repair one that was.
The punishment is not to shame them for holding hands, it's more like a time out designed to make them consider why they're fighting. It's usually done in grade school age kids - or like I said, it was when I was that age 25ish years ago. I think it's probably rarer as a punishment for older kids, but it probably shouldn't be (rare).
How long before clever gays at that high school figure out that all they need to do is slap the face of the boy they've been crushing on, and then they get to hold his hand too?
I can see your point r13, but alot of the others walked by them and taunted them often calling them "gay", is this what you want too? If they want to do this hand holding stuff I think it would be better accomplished if it weren't so public, maybe staying after school in the principals office holding hands for 10 or 15 minutes then being asked if they learned anything from it. If they say that it's gay then it's time to break out the lickin' stick.
What if two gay kids fight? What is their punishment?
No, I want the kids walking by and taunting them punished r15. Why is that difficult to comprehend?
[quote] If they want to do this hand holding stuff I think it would be better accomplished if it weren't so public
Now THAT is shaming.
The same r16. The point of the punishment is not to that they have to do something homoerotic, the point is to get them to make up or be nice to each other.
Some of you are bordering on mentally challenged. Christ.
It doesn't sound like the punishment itself was homophobic, but the other kids' reactions to it were.
Are Dataloungers really this paranoid that they read a homophobic agenda into two fighting boys being forced to hold hands (presumably more a peace gesture punishment than a homosexual one)? You people do realize that not every human action on earth doesn't revolve around homoerotica.
I think you might have to hold an assembly for mass punishment in that case--I don't think using the idea that homosexuality and being gay as something laughable as a form of ostracism or shame is a good idea. In other words, it should not be taken as shameful that men can hold hands; I do get the point but the students probably don't. I'm going to assume that they (the other students) don't give a shit if the guys fight, but since they were caught they are going to be made to look gay--that is the mistake being made in a punishment that has the right idea but immediately goes wrong because of misperception of what being gay means.
Nevermind. r20 is DEFINITELY mentally challenged.
I am torn on this.
I don't like the idea of making someone look gay as a way of humiliation and shame because it only reinforces the negative association with homosexuality.
But on the other hand, I think it's terribly romantic!
Look in the fucking MIRROR. "Mean-spirited?"
This is pure sexual harassment against the boys. The principal just put several lawyers' kids through Harvard, while the bullies may be able to retire on the judgment.
R22 just explained why the boys are likely to wind up suing the school for sexual harassment, which this clearly was.
A more direct punishment would have been to HIT the boys. Anyone up for that?
Arizona is the Florida west of the Mississippi.
Serious meth-head, trailer-trash, Republican honky tonk country beginning from the very top with that awful governor, Jan Brewer.
EVERY bully I had from middle school on was gay. I learned this years later from a girl who was in our classes. My crime? Not being gay, apparently. Oh they LOVED the physical contact, and would try to be my friend afterwards.
Those boys should sue the school into bankruptcy for sexual harassment. I bet they will.
Equality with heterosexuals doesn't mean the right to emulate the sluttiest, most sexually aggressive heteros, or to shove one's sexuality literally in our faces. Take a look at what they teach in the gay teen groups and you'll see they are trying to normalize sex-addicted behavior.
Talk about intolerance.
You sound like you come from a queer, HIV-infested liberal state loaded with drug-addicted welfare bums.
Gays are emotionally weak, sex-addicted gender abominations who cannot handle women, so they hook up with each other and pretend not to notice the difference.
"Mary!" is an insult for a reason.
Bitter cunt R26/27/28, you sound like you have major issues stemming from your teenage years. What happened? Did you drop the soap in the locker-room showers and some big, bad scary gay boy rubbed up against you?
Leave this site, troll. You will find no sympathy here.
Although it's good not to encourage child porn among minors, and get kids to overthink displays of affection, it's easy to run across dry white spells of homophobia that are a bit Harry Potter.
I live in Arizona, and your statement is completely true in my experience.
[quote] I learned this years later from a girl who was in our classes. My crime? Not being gay, apparently. Oh they LOVED the physical contact, and would try to be my friend afterwards.
I'm betting that R26 is no oil painting now, and has to relive his high school years with one of the fraus he stayed in contact with.
The punishment was not that bad, allowing others to taunt them was the bad thing. The two boys should have been isolated .
I still really don't understand why so many, many people - gay and straight - are reading a homosexual (and/or homophobic) agenda into this punishment. Because, at least in principle, it looks like it was intended as a peace-making punishment. Regardless of anybody's sexual turn-ons. Bottom line: any people who make a sexual matter out of this punishment are paranoid idiots. Does every minor activity in life really need to be motivated by something sexual?
Wow! That's not only homophobic but the principal forced teens (!) to engage in sexual act for others to see. And he still got away with it?