What Is PDA?

Throughout the halls of Dimond High School, students openly express themselves and their relationships by demonstrating public displays of affection (PDA). Some students don’t mind and don’t even notice these actions but others are disgusted that their classmates would portray themselves in such a manner. “I kind of get grossed out,” said Senior Tyler Mallory, “it’s really annoying.” Teachers feel the same way and are disgusted when they have to break up these acts of affection. “Students need to be more professional….If you wouldn’t do it in front of your parents don’t do it in front of us,” said Army retired Sgt. 1st Class Angel Ortiz, a JROTC instructor at Dimond. “I don’t mind kids holding hands and giving each other peck on the check or on the lips, but when they start making out in front of my classroom I’ll say something,” said math teacher Carrie Melville. Many students don’t even know what is considered excessive. “There really is no set guideline, teachers will usually stop what they consider excessive,” said Assistant Principal Kevin Theonnes. He’s right. The Student Handbook states that excessive displays of affection are prohibited but leaves it up to the school to decide the boundaries. Dimond’s only rule in the Dimond section of the Student Handbook is to treat others with respect. So what are the boundaries for PDA at Dimond? “We think of it like clothing,” said Theonnes. “It’s not written in stone but is an expected standard… Anything beyond a quick kiss on the check or a hug will be stopped.” The cadets and instructors of JROTC are setting their own rules for this PDA dilemma. The upper-classman cadets are hosting meetings every Wednesday to discuss what they deem acceptable both in and out of uniform. They even consider the JROTC hall as a PDA free zone which stretches from the gymnasiums to the activities office. “We set a higher standard for our cadets than we do for the other students,” said Army retired Master Sgt. Thomas Shelley, a JROTC instructor at Dimond “Right now our cadets decided that in uniform and in the JROTC hall cadets are not allowed to show any displays of affection. Outside of uniform and the JROTC hall they will do no more than a peck on the cheek and hold hands,” said Shelley.