Public Displays of Affection
Teenage hormones have a tendency to take control of our decisions and throw reason to the wind. We long to embark on the endless, tumultuous journey of exploring our sexuality with other lost, confounded souls. Though this is a private and personal experience for most, some couples are more than generous in sharing their love with the rest of the community.These public displays of affection , otherwise known as PDAs, have the capacity to generate a variety of responses. Some students admire these displays with a perfectly cued “Aww” and “That is SO cute!”, while others cringe in disgust or roll their eyes in annoyance (or, perhaps, envy). While harmless, these gestures are impossible to ignore.
PDAs can come in any or all of the following forms: hand holding, intimate embraces, short pecks on the lips, and last, but certainly not least, outright groping and tackling tonsils. PDAs, “over familiarity” according to the Milton website, are not forbidden in the Milton Academy handbook.
Upon arriving at the Academy, I was amazed that, given so much freedom, students were not exploiting their ability to display affection. I am by no means encouraging students to turn up the heat in the classrooms; rather, I admire their self-control.
I completely support respectful familiarity in public settings, so long as it is displayed tastefully. Face it: nobody wants to see a couple going at it every day, whether it’s his hands glued to her waist, a peck on the lips before every class or, even worse, the Eskimo kisses which aggravate everyone in the room. Love can be beneficial to all of us, if we use discretion. While I have not yet to find myself in any truly uncomfortable situations, it is only October, and, as a fellow student reminded me, “[PDAs] happen a lot in spring, as if mates have come out of hibernation to rediscover each other.”
Some students feel that a line still needs to be drawn between what is acceptable and what should be kept out of sight. Nicole Rufus (I) explained that “depending on how long it is, and what they’re doing,it’s rude.” If we as teenagers can remind ourselves that certain aspects of our relationships should remain private, the entire community would benefit.
Overall, however, PDAs don’t seem to cause tension on the Milton campus. Chimene Cooper (II) asserts, “The level of PDA here is acceptable. I’m sure the faculty feels the same way or it would’ve cracked down on the rules by now!” According to Mrs. Klein-Ash, Chimene is right in that the faculty do not seem to have a problem with PDA at Milton. “A little bit of affection isn’t necessarily a bad thing, only when it crosses the line,” she claims. But what distinguishes the line? The best way for students to determine this line is through a simple role reversal: what level of PDA would you be comfortable watching your teachers display?
It is a privilege that, as Milton students, we are free to express ourselves and our emotions. In some schools, even sitting in the opposite sex’s lap or hugging for too long in front of a teacher can result in a visit to the dean’s office. Respect for others is key. Please, do us all a favor and don’t cross the line.
Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=1998