Back in September 2007, Hollis F. Price Middle College High was definitely not a place of higher learning, that I would have chosen to attend. The teachers were instructed by the school's principal to keep an eye out for student couples. In all fairness they were to keep a watchful eye on both 'heterosexual and same sex couples'.
The principal wanted to monitor the students 'public displays of affection'. Oh my goodness! That was such a slippery slope to be traveling on. Public displays of affection is pretty wide open, What's crossing it?
I remember when this idea first came into play, the onset of it.
Students were given written and verbal warnings, simply for exchanging hugs. What is a hug I asked? For everything is not meant sexually. Some things are offered and extended out of love - there was a need to show compassion. Yet, students were being reprimanded for responding out of human nature with an innocence. This was very saddening to me.
Let's be honest there is more acceptance along with understanding when the public displays of affection are being portrayed by the male and female genders/couples. Not only were the two gay students outed before their peers and for the entire school to see (their names were put on a list) and this alleged relationship was reported to their parents.
I find this disturbing on many different levels.
First off it sounds morbid to say the least. And, I question rather this principal had intimacy issues? I even question whether the principal was homophobic. One of the students was forbidden to attend a field trip to New Orleans to help in the rebuilding of the city for the Hurricane Katrina victims. The educators lodged concerns as to the possibilities of embarrassment that could happen, due to his 'inappropriate behavior'. That's a What If - not grounds to ban the young man's participation. Barred because what if there is a hug or a kiss.
Well, the ACLU solved part of this - the young men's constitutional right to freedom of association has been violated. If you'd like to address your concerns directly to the school or the principal go to Queer Today listed is the information you will need.