Addressing (PDA) Public Display of Affection at School

What is a Public Display of Affection?

public display of affection (PDA)
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Public Display of Affection or PDA includes physical contact including, but not limited to, intimate touching, hand holding, fondling, cuddling, kissing, etc. at school or a school-sponsored activity between two students typically in a relationship.  This type of behavior, while innocent on some levels can quickly evolve into a distraction for the students engaging in the practice, as well as other students who are in close proximity to the doting couple.

Most schools have policies in their student handbook discouraging Public Display of Affection.

PDA is often considered a public profession of how two people feel about one another. Schools typically see this type of behavior as a distraction and inappropriate for a school setting.  Most schools have policies that forbid this type of issue on campus or at school-related functions. Schools typically have a zero-tolerance stance on PDA, because they recognize that even innocent Public Displays of Affection can turn into something more.

Being overly affectionate can be offensive to many people though a couple caught up in the moment may not be aware that their actions are being offensive.  Because of this schools must educate their students on the issue.  Respect is a critical component of character education programs in schools everywhere.  Students who regularly engage in acts of PDA are disrespecting their peers in a sense by subjecting them to witnessing their affection.

This should be brought to the attention of the over-affectionate couple who were probably too caught up in the moment to consider others who were around.

Sample Policy Concerning Public Display of Affection

Any Where Public Schools recognizes that genuine feelings of affection may exist between two students.

  However, students shall refrain from all Public Displays of Affection (PDA) while on campus or while attending and/or participating in a school-related activity.  Being overly affectionate at school can be offensive and is generally in poor taste. The expression of feelings towards one another is a personal concern between the two individuals and  thus, should not be shared with others in the general vicinity. PDA includes any physical contact that may make others in close proximity uncomfortable or serves as a distraction for themselves as well as innocent onlookers. Some specific examples of PDA includes but is not limited to:

  • Kissing
  • Holding Hands
  • Fondling
  • Cuddling
  • Inappropriate Touching
  • Rubbing/Massaging
  • Caressing/Stroking/Petting
  • Excessive Hugging

Inappropriate Public Displays of Affection (PDA) will not be tolerated. Students caught engaging in such practices are subject to the following disciplinary actions.

  • 1st Offense = Verbal Warning. Parents informed of the issue.
  • 2nd Offense = 5 days detention. Parent conference on the issue.
  • Subsequent Offenses = 3 days In-School Placement. Parent conference on the issue.
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Meador, Derrick. "Addressing (PDA) Public Display of Affection at School." ThoughtCo, Feb. 14, 2016, thoughtco.com/addressing-pda-public-display-of-affection-at-school-3194654. Meador, Derrick. (2016, February 14). Addressing (PDA) Public Display of Affection at School. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/addressing-pda-public-display-of-affection-at-school-3194654 Meador, Derrick. "Addressing (PDA) Public Display of Affection at School." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/addressing-pda-public-display-of-affection-at-school-3194654 (accessed January 17, 2018).