Students discuss impact of PDA in school environment


Eris Rindt, Reporter

With the start of each school year, students are reminded of various protocols and rules in order for the year to flow smoothly. Students have multiple conversations with their teachers over late work policies and safety drill protocols, however, one of the lesser talked about rules is public displays of affection in the school setting. While many rules vary from teacher to teacher, rules for PDA are clearly outlined in the student handbook. The handbook states that kissing is prohibited on campus however light PDA such as hand holding and hugging is allowed when appropriate. 

Several websites such as Debate have put together online polls and surveys to collect data on whether the public thinks PDA should be completely banned within the school environment. Their most recent survey results state that 79% of people surveyed say that PDA should be prohibited within the school setting as it distracts from students’ education. 

“There were two people making out in the hallway when I was trying to get to class and it made me feel uncomfortable,” freshman Macy Scott said.

NHS rules and regulations as stated in the handbook are aimed at preparing students for a future work environment, meaning that the PDA is minimal. Many students state they have seen their classmates in the hallway hugging while blocking the flow of the passing period traffic.

“I don’t really think [NHS] should be stricter on PDA. I feel like it’s not really affecting anybody and it’s not really a big deal but if you’re in school please don’t be doing all that extra stuff,” junior Mohamed Farah said. “Take her on a date, do something outside of school. There is no reason for you to be doing [anything PDA wise] in school.”

Other school districts, such as USD 501 in Topeka, have a no tolerance policy when it comes to PDA in the school environment, according to Topeka High School’s handbook. Different schools and states have different rules for showing affection. Comparatively, NHS students believe Newton has a more relaxed policy than surrounding area schools. 

“It depends on what they’re doing, like if someone was just holding hands or hugging I wouldn’t feel weird but if they were full on making out I’d be weirded out,” Scott said. “I think [NHS] shouldn’t allow people to be making out in the hallway because it’s weird and gives us second hand embarrassment.”

Based on results from a school wide survey, over 76% of NHS students say they have seen some form of PDA while in school this school year. Of that 76%, approximately 7% of students say it has distracted them from their learning. Schools have become strict on this type of public affection because the affection might escalate to something more than just simple kissing or hugging according to Thought Co.

“There was this kid and his girlfriend who were by the lockers and he pushed her against the lockers, they were trying to be so dramatic,” Farah said. “[Some couples] are trying to walk their significant others to class. Just really cheesy stuff. If you have a girlfriend or boyfriend just keep that to yourself and don’t be touching up on each other during school hours, because nobody wants to see that.”