Queerty is better as a member

Log in | Register
  HAND GESTURE

Principal Makes Boys Hold Hands As Punishment For Fighting

How messed up is our society? A principal at an Arizona high school punished two students caught fighting by making them hold hands in front of their classmates.

If only our principal had meted out punishments like that.

Earlier this week, two students at Westwood High School in Mesa, AZ, were sent to Principal Tim Richard’s office for getting into a scuffle. The boys, whose names are being kept privte, were presented with a choice: Be suspended or sit and hold hands for 15 minutes during lunch. They went for the latter.

“Kids were laughing at them and calling them names, asking, ‘Are you gay?’” said classmate Brittney Smyers.

The school district isn’t fond of Richard’s decision: “The district does not condone the choice of in-school discipline given these students, regardless of their acceptance or willingness to participate,” a statement reads. “District leadership will address this matter with the school principal and review district protocol regarding student discipline with all administrators.”

Was Richard being canny—hitting the boys where it really hurts (their bullshit macho pride)—or endorsing homophobia by suggesting holding hands for a moment is a fate worse that being kicked out of school.

Share you view in the comments section!

 

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Nov 30, 2012
Tagged: , , , , ,

  • 43 Comments
    • Spike
      Spike

      Figures it would be Arizona.

      Nov 30, 2012 at 5:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • queerty1958
      queerty1958

      I think it’s great! And I bet they won’t fight at school again.
      Well, unless one of them shows up late picking up the other one for the prom!:-)

      Nov 30, 2012 at 5:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CivicMinded
      CivicMinded

      The punishment made them see what it’s like to feel bullied and that’s good. I see the holding hands as less about macho boys being made to perform a homosexual act and more about being forced to interact with the enemy in a more human way. If only we could get the folks in the Middle East to hold hands for 15 minutes. The fact the crowd bullied them merits a school assembly.

      Nov 30, 2012 at 6:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • kayakriver
      kayakriver

      I think it’s a great ‘punishment’. Just so for the boys to be in contact with each other, forces them to sit down and put differences aside – one would hope. Too bad other students were being stupid asking the gay question.

      Nov 30, 2012 at 6:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kieran
      Kieran

      I highly doubt if two female students got in a fight the principal would punish them
      by making them hold hands publicly. But hey, in a traditionally homophobic culture
      like ours, is there anything more deserving of ridicule and shame than boys
      appearing to be gay?

      Nov 30, 2012 at 6:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LadyLady
      LadyLady

      School officials should NOT punish/humiliate kids by threatening their sexuality. Straight, gay or otherwise. This is bullying and this is wrong.

      Nov 30, 2012 at 7:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      I think CivicMinded has the right idea. Unless there’s a detail not stated in this article, homophobia doesn’t appear to be the basis for the punishment, even if its existence in the other students and possibly the two as well made it worse.

      Nov 30, 2012 at 8:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • streeteditions
      streeteditions

      Props to the principal. As for the other students, time for lgbtq training!

      Nov 30, 2012 at 9:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mjl-428
      Mjl-428

      @hyhybt: I think that’s the only thing about this. and I agree with you and @CivicMinded. the problem wasn’t the principle’s punishment, unless he had a hidden agenda, but the kids

      Nov 30, 2012 at 10:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dionte
      Dionte

      Now they are going to link aggression with intimacy.

      Nov 30, 2012 at 11:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Wade
      Wade

      I had a similar punishment handed to me when I was in the Army. This guy and I had a fist fight (he told our drill sergeant that I beat him up) and we were made to hold hands while we skipped across the field singing Skip-To-My-Lou. It worked. I never got into another fight.

      Dec 1, 2012 at 1:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Captain proton
      Captain proton

      is that pink shirt a part of the punishment as well?

      Dec 1, 2012 at 2:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • qoop
      qoop

      “Was Richard being canny—hitting the boys where it really hurts (their bullshit macho pride)—or endorsing homophobia by suggesting holding hands for a moment is a fate worse that being kicked out of school.”

      I can’t wait for debt collectors, banks and other groups that make monetary fines to be accused of endorsing the hatred of money.

      When I was a kid the only way I could be punished was by my dad stopping me getting cash, nothing else bothered me. Not everything has a deeper meaning.

      Dec 1, 2012 at 2:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh
      Josh

      It depends on what the principal’s intentions were

      Dec 1, 2012 at 2:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • qoop
      qoop

      @Josh

      Yes that’s very true but I doubt the principals first thought was “lets punish the gay away from these two fighters” rather “I know what these two kids won’t like and will then hopefully not do the same thing again”.

      If the principal had suspended the two pupils would people then go on to say the principal was endorsing kids not having access to education? I’m not saying he isn’t anti-gay but I’m not saying he is. I just find it odd that it needs to be an issue all the time. If you want to see an issue, you’ll see an issue, and if you report a half issue, people will see an issue, it doesn’t mean an issue exists.

      Dec 1, 2012 at 3:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Grazel
      Grazel

      I’m not sure how this was an acceptable punishment. Making them hold hands to try to get them to be non-violent sounds reasonable. Putting them in a busy area for the other students to see (and therefore ridicule) is not acceptable. It’s obvious the principal knew they’d be harrassed and teased/bullied by the other students and therefore he promoted homophobia and bullying as a form of punishment. The proper punishment/lesson would have been served if they’d just had to sit in front of the principal or a teacher (to make sure they did it and didn’t get into another fight), not to be shown off in front of the student body. This is the modern equivalent of putting someone in stocks in the village commons.

      Dec 1, 2012 at 9:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LaTeesha
      LaTeesha

      Apparently, intelligence is not a pre-requisite for being a principal.

      Dec 1, 2012 at 10:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • balehead
      balehead

      Very very smart punishment! Naturally the emotional hypocrites won`t get it….

      Dec 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hannah
      Hannah

      This is shaming and suggests that same-sex pda is a punishment like there is something wrong with it. I find it inappropriate for the principal to suggest this in place of suspension. The students could have been required a task or project to do together as an alternative.

      Dec 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      @kayakriver: You are a very optimistic person, aren’t you? Good quality but in this case I disagree.

      As was evidenced by the “are you gay?” comment, these students were forced to hold hands in front of their classmates because of the shame they would endure whilst being mocked by those students around them…because two boys holding hands SHOULD be mocked and ridiculed.

      Dec 1, 2012 at 3:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      I like the novelty of it, it shows up a lot of fear.

      Dec 1, 2012 at 8:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Papi Balenciaga
      Papi Balenciaga

      @Captain proton: Ha!!. Thumbs up.

      Dec 1, 2012 at 9:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      For (wome) who are questioning the principal’s motives, I am wondering how you would tell? It seems unlikely he would say “I’ll fix those guys and make them feel like fags”

      And I would also say that humiliation may not the most desirable punishment, but what are you going to do? The options are so limited these days. My neighbor works at a school district – they don’t assign 500 sentences, of course, you can’t spank, or put people in the corner, and on & on. I am NOT 90 years old and I remember the teacher put a dunce cap on a girl and put her in the corner; another teacher smacked knuckles with a ruler. And this was PUBLIC school not Catholic. The punishments were effective.

      You also have to ask yourself if ONE or two students “feelings” (as long as the punishments are not super severe) outway disrupting 28 or 30 other children’s education.

      Dec 2, 2012 at 12:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jaroslaw
      Jaroslaw

      For (some) who are questioning the principal’s motives, I am wondering how you would tell? It seems unlikely he would say “I’ll fix those guys and make them feel like fags”

      And I would also say that humiliation may not the most desirable punishment, but what are you going to do? The options are so limited these days. My neighbor works at a school district – they don’t assign 500 sentences, of course, you can’t spank, or put people in the corner, and on & on. I am NOT 90 years old and I remember the teacher put a dunce cap on a girl and put her in the corner; another teacher smacked knuckles with a ruler. And this was PUBLIC school not Catholic. The punishments were effective.

      You also have to ask yourself if ONE or two students “feelings” (as long as the punishments are not super severe) outway disrupting 28 or 30 other children’s education.

      Dec 2, 2012 at 12:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • timelord89
      timelord89

      In fifth grade we had a teacher who used this as a punishment for bullying. Personally I hated it, because why the hell should I be forced to hold the hands of the girls and the boys who called me every bloody name in the book. I mean I sense a bit of delicious irony in being forced to hold hands with the girls who called me a dyke, but it sucked.

      Dec 3, 2012 at 3:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dellisonly
      dellisonly

      @Spike: Why? Why the elitist rhetoric? This could have happened anywhere. If the headline said Palo Alto would you be shocked? It is creative punishment and you can argue either side of this as to whether it’s right or not. This I promise you, fighting will decline at that school.

      Dec 3, 2012 at 9:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aidan8
      Aidan8

      Not a wise decision by the principal. He’ll regret it.

      Dec 3, 2012 at 9:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Samuel
      Samuel

      Its a great punishment. Instead of seeing it as hompophobic,i thik it just teaches brotherhood to the boys.

      Dec 3, 2012 at 11:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt1961
      Matt1961

      My twin sister and I used to fight and my dad would make us sit on each other’s lap for a long period of time. he’d let our friends that came to the door come in and see. it was humiliating and awkward. It worked… gotta say it worked, we thought long and hard about fighting haha.

      But in my honest opinion, I would consider this hazing or bullying by the school administrator, and I don’t think it’s appropriate. Regardless of the possible message is sends out about gays holding hands, humiliating young men at any stage of their lives for any reason is demeaning and will cause greater harm down the road.

      These kids should now be on a ‘do not sell weapons or ammo to’ list from now on.

      Dec 3, 2012 at 5:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James
      James

      Making the boys hold hands so they could endure fag jokes is just another form of bullying. Holding the hand of someone of the same sex should not be considered a form of humiliation, but rather of love. Anybody who thinks this principal had a right to humiliate guys holding hands is either a homophobe themselves or truly very insensitive person to the painful realities of being ridiculed as “a fag.”

      Dec 3, 2012 at 5:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James
      James

      @queerty1958: Your lack of sensitivity to fag jokes is astounding. Do you come on queerty just to put down gay people or do you understand anything about bullying of gay people in schools at all. Your letter is truly insensitive.

      Dec 3, 2012 at 5:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James
      James

      @Wade: Obviously you considered holding another mans hand humiliating or you would have fought more. Says a lot about you and your homophobia.

      Dec 3, 2012 at 5:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James
      James

      @balehead: Obviously you dont care about gay people, otherwise you would have said something about the fag jokes that resulted. Who cares what you think anyway. Just another lazy comment from you.

      Dec 3, 2012 at 5:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James
      James

      @qoop: Well for one the principal did nothing to stop the fag jokes. Nothing at all. It must have been part of the humiliation process. Pathetic.

      Dec 3, 2012 at 5:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James
      James

      @Samuel: You must be crazy. The fag jokes that ensued show no bonding at all.

      Dec 3, 2012 at 5:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alterego1980
      alterego1980

      I see the intent here to be similar to making a thief stand outside of the store where they tried to steal something. The punishment implies that they will learn their lesson through public humiliation. Initially i figured the holding hands was just the counter to beating each other up and that the gay aspect is exploited by the other kids. I would not punish someone this way, but i’m not surprised by it.

      Dec 3, 2012 at 5:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Samuel
      Samuel

      if the motivations of the principal were homophobic instead of simply promoting commaradrie as Matt1961 mentions his father used a similar tactic on him and his sibling, which worked, obviously it would be wrong…

      again kids calling people gay is something which is wierd but many gays are know to induldge in a lot of such behaviours towards other gays …

      So if kids do it it is bullying and if gays do it, it is acceptable bitchiness… honestly someone has to put an end to this crap being promoted by white homosexuals about their supposed victimhood.

      Dec 3, 2012 at 5:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James
      James

      @Samuel: What are you talking about….. I do not think I have ever heard a gay person put down another gay person for being gay. And why even say it is “white” homosexuals. That is just stereotyping.

      Dec 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      @James: Please check out this: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8772014

      In my experience, fully straight people are too busy chasing the opposite sex to indulge in the obsession with homosexuality so comprehensively espoused by homophobes.

      It is a sad paradox that it appears gays are at greatest danger from closet gays.

      Dec 3, 2012 at 7:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James
      James

      @Derek Williams: Self hating heterosexual men who are secretly gay and hate being gay has been known for years. We had a guy here, a very macho latino guy, in my town some years ago who with a couple of other “fag-bashers” killed a gay man for no reason at all. The bashers got caught and sentenced to prison. The killer was released on parole a few years ago and came to his parole center dressed as a woman. He was in the process of having a sex change. Apparently he had been so conflicted about his own sexuality that he hated any gay man who reminded me of being a homosexual. Over his years in prison he somehow decided to accept the fact that he really wanted to be a woman. I can only imagine his pain and it is truly truly sad he killed someone. Religion also promotes homophobia, especially fundamentalist religion. The god hates fags people are probably not gay but they hate gay people with a passion. They are all mentally ill anyway.

      Dec 3, 2012 at 7:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James
      James

      @balehead: You apparently dont get it either. What was the lesson learned…… not to fight, or how not to be perceived as a fag, or both. The principal has done nothing to address the fag jokes or the gay jokes. Nothing. Nothing. Apparently since this was in the principals words “an offer of humilation” rather than “an offer of brotherhood” the fag jokes were included as part of the hazing. If true, the principal is nothing but a homophobic bully. Anyway the whole thing was so stupid and cruel to so many people. I hate the principal I really do for causing us all so much pain with his stupid and insensitive humiliation trip.

      Dec 3, 2012 at 9:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • beachcomberT
      beachcomberT

      Unless this district is so strict that it outlaws public displays of affection by hetero kids, then this punishment is anti-gay. It sends a message that same-sex affection is shameful while boy-girl handholding is OK and maybe even “cute.” Why not punish the 2 guys by making them do a useful project together?

      Dec 3, 2012 at 11:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James
      James

      What the principal thought would stop fighting has now got everyone fighting now. The whole solution of humiliation by holding hands was stupid, now everyone is fighting over whether it was a homophobia or a creative solution or whatever. At any rate everyone is fighting, so all the stupid solution did was to cause more trouble. People are so stupid.

      Dec 4, 2012 at 12:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

    Add your Comment

    Queerty now requires you to log in to comment

    Please log in to add your comment.

    Need an account? Register It's free and easy.

  • POPULAR ON QUEERTY

    FOLLOW US
     



    GET QUEERTY'S DAILY NEWSLETTER


    FROM AROUND THE WEB

    Copyright 2014 Queerty, Inc.
    Follow Queerty at Queerty.com, twitter.com/queerty and facebook.com/queerty.