Holding Hands: The Newest Form of Punishment?

One Mesa, Arizona high school is getting creative with its punishments, allowing two students caught fighting an interesting ultimatum: either face a 9-day suspension, or hold hands in front of their classmates for an hour.

The two male Westwood High students chose the latter option, and photos of their public display of punishment quickly went viral. The students had been fighting in P.E. class, and were told another fight could result in their permanent expulsion.

One of the students, 14-year-old Charles Crockett, admitted to skipping school the next day to avoid possible ridicule from his peers regarding his hand holding.

In a statement, the Mesa Public School District said it "does not condone the choice of in-school discipline given these students, regardless of their acceptance or willingness to participate.” They commented that they would be reviewing this unique choice of punishment with the school’s principal.

In the age of social media, smartphones, and photos instantly circulating, do you think the principal’s punishment went too far in this instance? With so much media focus lately on bullying in schools, does this just exacerbate the problem? Or in this case, does the punishment fit the crime?

Posted by Tyler Thurston on Nov 30, 2012

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