What’s the first thing that comes into your mind when you see two males sitting on separate chairs covering their faces and holding hands in the center of school grounds? The controversy occurred after a principal makes two boys hold hands in public after a fight at a high school in Arizona. As a discipline to teach them a lesson, Principal Tim Richards presented the boys with two options after a fist fight. They could either be suspended from school (not very productive way in my opinion) or they could hold hands for an hour in front of fellow students. The students chose to hold hands in public as it shows on this image on the right.
After this action became public, fellow students distributed the images and posted negative remarks in the internet. Many began criticizing the principal’s action saying he was encouraging bullying and homophobia by insinuating being gay and holding hands as an embarrassment. Did he state that and/or why? In my opinion, it is an embarrassment for the boys but the bullying is being done by the individuals who took pictures, distribute them online, and insinuated the action as being gay or homophobic. Ever thought that holding hands meant “in peace or unity?”
These students understood they were wrong and knew it would be an embarrassment but instead they faced the consequences of their actions with dignity. Besides it’s “out-of-the-box” punishment, the negative remarks by people did not help but instead increased the embarrassment to a greater limit. The social media is a powerful marketing tool that reaches not only locally but international viewers. The tools of social media reach an infinite public. One must understand the advantages and disadvantages of using social media as a way to communicate. Its similar to driving a car as it serves a means of entertainment or reach a point of happiness but if used improperly or without thought it can damage an individual or a group of people in an instant. Be very careful on how you use this tool. Students should learn about this and practice on it.
Another challenge in this case, is that nowadays people think holding hands is terrible between two people of the same sex. Doesn’t anyone remember 911? We all joined to create peace by holding hands and heads together as one to overcome the greatest challenge ever, fight against terrorism all around the world. What’s wrong with teaching people about peace and unity? Working together about differences will take you a long way.
What I do believe Principal Richards missed is to inform the students, the public, why these boys are being punished possibly by using cardboards next to them informing others learned lesson. Who and why this is being done. Even judges around the country use this technique to teach individual’s a lesson. There should also be classes to teach students how one’s actions can hurt a group of people. What’s your opinion on this topic?