Teen Boys Forced to Hold Hands in Front of Entire School as Punishment

Say What!? 72

holding handsIs it me or is there a new trend developing in discipline? There's a new way of torturing kids under the guise of punishing them for misdeeds: making them touch each other, whether they like it or not. In one school in Arizona, a principal even forced two teenage boys to hold each other's hands for an hour.

Clasping hands during lunch, in front of the rest of the student body, was supposed to teach the boys a lesson for fighting in gym class (it was that or be suspended). The public humiliation, apparently, was supposed to set the kids on the straight and narrow. But if anyone should be punished right now, I'm thinking it's the principal.

Not only did he subject these kids to bullying by putting them in the middle of campus during lunchtime for the whole thing -- which is NEVER an OK tactic for discipline -- but he broke a cardinal rule when it comes to "ruling" over kids. By telling them that they had to hold hands, the administrator took away these boys' right to say "when" when it comes to their own bodies.

He's not the first guy to make this mistake, and he won't be the last. How many times have you seen parents of toddlers who got in a tussle on the playground order the kids to go hug it out? It's a different age group, different intention, but it still sends our kids the wrong message, that they "have to" touch someone when they have absolutely zero interest in doing so, that they have to be touched when they find it uncomfortable. 

Being a kid is tough enough without some adult telling you that your body is no longer your own. We try teaching our kids from day one that they always have the right to say "no," but these sorts of punishments send the opposite message. What it tells kids is that they have no control over their bodies.

Can we just drop this discipline technique and go back to writing "I will not fight" 100 times on the blackboard?

What would you have done if this was your child? Would you be OK with forcing him to hold hands with another kid?


Image via katerha/Flickr

body image, discipline


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Anna Potts

you god dam liberal hippy bitch, this is why kids act out now the people responcible for teaching your brats how to act cant punish them. if you ask me bring back the paddle, but wait you bitch about that to. these boys deserve it and now a good man is being punished if you dont like the school take your brat home and do it your self. god this nation was great now we have emo kids running around useless.

dirti... dirtiekittie

@anna potts - i understand your sentiment, but the name calling is a bit over the top, yes? no need for names. also, please stop throwing around the word liberal like it's a dirty word. unnecessary. (i'm a liberal, and please see my own comment about the situation). 

Woodbabe Woodbabe

They had the option to take the suspension, so I don't agree with the argument...they had total control over the hand holding incident.

Cindy Harp

I can just hear the kids in the lunchroom saying "ooh you guys are gay" NOT COOL!!


Elizabeth Ann Garrison

I'm not going to harp over the fact that the kids CHOSE to hold hands rather than get suspended. They had an option and they picked. Think about it: how many kids are gonna fight if they know that they are gonna have to hold hands like that in front of everyone? I would be too embarassed to do that so I would avoid fighting. I know in my HS it was a huge joke to get suspended, kids would walk around saying they need a "vacation" so they would beat the crap out of some weaker junior underclassmen and get what they wanted-a suspension, thus time at home out of school.

matobe matobe

I just have too many words for the author of this article. You have exacerbated this a million times over what it is.

They CHOSE it.

And yes, our children lack humility and shame! And if they never feel it, and are constantly given "other options" and handups, where the hell are they going to learn to handle it for themselves?!

Kudos, principal. Kudos.

tauru... taurusmom88

turning handholding into a punishment is bullshit. turning same sex hand holding into a punishment is repulsive. the point was to humiliate these boys so they would behave in the future. two men holding hands shouldn't be humiliating and shouldn't be turned into a punishment, ever! all that says is homosexuality is wrong and should be humiliating. uh... no. not to mention, since when is it a punishment to let kids CHOOSE their punishment. these kids learned no real lesson and this principle is an effin moron.

Chari... Charizma77

If my child chose that instead of the suspension I would be ok with it. 

monke... monkeymom1104

@anniepottiemouth, Even if you have a point, it kinda got lost. nwim? And people wonder why kids act this way..smh

mrssu... mrssundin

Um they made the choice to bully each other and then made the choice to hold hands. I make my 7 and 8the year old hug when their fighting. No big deal.

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