PDA: Public display of affection or annoyance?

Tiffany Burghelea, Staff Writer

You’re walking down the hall and making your way to your locker. You’re running on two hours of sleep. You’re still shivering from the cold, and the warning bell just rang. As you race to class to avoid that third tardy, you are stopped in your tracks because there is a couple cuddling in the middle of the hall.  

Public Displays of Affection, most commonly known as PDA, is not a new phenomenon, but it is an issue that has always been around, whether you see it in the store, the airport, or school. Here, at Hoffman Estates High School, PDA is perceived in different ways. 

“I think PDA is acceptable when it’s in moderation. It’s sometimes uncomfortable when I see someone too intimate,” said Jacob Scigalski, freshman. 

PDA can be seen as inappropriate; however, there are many reasons as to why people might do it. One reason is that couples are unable to express themselves at home.  

“They don’t have an outlet or a place outside of school … Maybe it’s a cultural thing, maybe it’s a parenting style, or maybe they’re not comfortable. This is a safe space for students, and I think that kind of feeds into ‘I’m safe here now, I can fully express my love for my partner,’” said Hollee Czajka, social studies department. 

Culture can another factor, as some parents may have restrictions that impact a student’s social choices.  Consequently, school becomes a safe place where relationships can be built. 

“It’s harder to be open with your family and relatives about relationships. My SO (significant other) wouldn’t be able to meet with my family even if that would be an expectation they would have in a relationship,” said Hiba Ali, freshman.

Furthermore, love is expressive. Young people, especially those in high school, feel proud of their partner and that they have someone to share their life with. “Showing off” how strong you feel can provide happiness and brighten your day. 

“I get why people like to display their feelings. It makes them happy to show their friends and others,” said Juliet Brady, freshman. 

“I don’t react or make mean faces … Because I think love is something people are proud of so they lack shame,” said Riley Johnson, senior.

Although displaying PDA can be good, it also has its negatives. Many students feel uncomfortable at times where it is too much and think it is better to do it in private. 

“I don’t like the hallways being blocked during passing periods because of PDA. Do it after school,” said Muskan Kamani, freshman. 

Additionally, setting boundaries has its benefits. Doing things privately is respectful and considerate to the people around you. Seeing that school is a public space that we share, the actions we do affect the people around us.  

“It makes me uncomfortable because school is an environment where those things should be done someplace else … and it makes school less of a fun place to be at,” said Hannah Ku, freshman.

Ultimately, school can be a safe place when things like culture and parents put a halt to relationships. However, being mindful of others can help the school environment be more comfortable.