Hand-Holding Controversy At Pompano High School

POMPANO BEACH (CBS4) – Walking the hallways of many high schools across South Florida and it’s common to see high school kids holding hands whether it’s girls who are friends, or a couple who’s dating.

But at Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach, it’s against the rules. Two girls who are dating found out when they said the principal threatened to suspend them.

“Her and her friend was holding hands and that the principal approached them from behind and removed their hands from being touched,” said the mother of one of the teens. She does not want to be identified.

Her daughter is a junior with a 3.5 grade point average…who happens to date a girl.

“I felt like she was being discriminated against because it was two girls holding hands,” she said.

Her daughter sent an e-mail, complaining to the school board. She got a response from the area superintendent in an e-mail obtained by the South Florida Times.

The superintendent said the rule is the rule – and applies to everyone. She told CBS4’s Ted Scouten it’s still under investigation.

“What they’re saying is that it’s not applied to other students at school if it’s male/female,” said Scouten.

“I really don’t have all the information with me right now,” responded Sharon Airghi , North Area Superintendent. “My area director’s out at the school. I need an update before I can speak to you any further.”

“I think that everybody should be who they are with out being discriminated against,” said one student. “It’s not fair.”

Most students say, this is a non-issue – gay or straight students should be able to hold hands. In fact, they say they see lots of hand holding at school every day.

Others say, this is high school, not a night club.

“We’re at a learning environment,” commented Student Body President Bderaiah Baker. “We’re supposed to be learning, not holding hands with our boyfriend or girlfriend or what ever the case may be.”

CBS4 tried speaking to the school principal, he did not respond to requests for comment.

More from Ted Scouten
  • carmen carrasquillo

    This should not be an issue. If the school allows it for Boy, Girl students then it MUST allow it for Gay students also. Everyone has the very same right. Now the stupid school has made it an issue! One of equality for all. Lets see how they deal with this one. Actually if I were the parents of the students in question. I would be shopping around for a lawyer ready to sue in favor of my childs rights. It is a matter of discrimination plain and simple.

    • Texgal1

      You need to spend more time on your grammar, Carmen.

    • Pedro

      YES YES YES it is about time …no more touching period!!!!! Time to end this social experiment. Time to reject Hegel and the praxis …in the schools….Right and wrong are back! School is to focus on learning and how to reason ! Next step defund the department of re- education! Go ahead call someone narrow minded …but hey I guess you approve of kids having alternative sex in the bathroom in Tucson scools …oh yeakh and then what about teachers and students having sex in Tucson …My answer is no! ..Way to go school in FLA Parents call your schools and ask “what the policy om touching” then go have lunch with your kid at school and SEE what really goes on!!!!!! And then complain and do something! Going to school should not involve any touching!!!!!!!

    • Dave

      These girls that are holding hands with the blessing of the parents should be taken by CPS and the parents charged with negligent abuse.

      • joe

        What would the “prince of PEACE” have to say about your comment? Probably something along the lines of, Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Something along those lines?

      • Mike Nichols

        Dave,You are an idiot.

      • God

        Nothing like a kneejerk leftist reactionary whose own moral ambiguity is a pathetic dodge of decency.

      • BillyBob

        You’re right. Their parents belong in jail

      • Keepinitclassy

        Nothing like a self righteous person with an opinion of what is right and wrong! You have no capability of being able to control how people feel let alone the right of telling people how they should feel. Back on topic if the rule is enforced across the entire school there is no reason for this to be an issue. But, if it was infact targetted I could see this being a farely large issue real quick.

      • Observer

        Dave: You’re several kinds of fool. Do you have any idea what happens to a lot of kids that are taken by CPS for minimum of reasons? The potential sexual, mental and physical abuse they may be exposed to as compared to the relative safety of a home environment?

        Let me guess, you’re one of those extremists that thinks same gender relations are an abomination. If you’re ever in a position of authority, I trust that at least one person will have the common sense and decency to see to it that you are swiftly removed.

        As for this article: High school is primarily about learning, secondary to that is social structure and interaction. What goes on in the hall ways during lunch hours, recess and in-between classes has nothing to do with learning and everything to do with relationships may they be friends or otherwise. Leave the kids be what they will and learn what they will. If I were in charge of that school district, that principle would be suspended for two weeks without pay for assaulting those kids the way he did when they were doing nothing but minding their own business in a non-disruptive manner.

      • Marlon Cole

        What waste of admin duties. Oh man superintendent get a life. Why waste time on crybaby rules when you can barely even educate the kids. Yes have rules but be wise in how you apply them. The bureaucracy of this country has practically ruined our education system. Get rid of the perks who play these pollitcal games with our kids. If I was the principal I would have not bothered with those girls, especially touching them. Call the parents to discuss the issue. Rules, rules, rules, how many of them have them! Lets be friends!

      • KC22015

        Plain and simple, your a moron.

      • Jesse

        You should be taken out to the desert and left to fend for yourself for thinking you have the right idea one what parents should allow their children to do. Live and let live my shortsighted friend

      • Chris

        You’re a special kind of stupid and the state should take your house, your car, and move you into an institution with other people just like you.

    • Machismo

      The superintendent said the rule is the rule – and applies to everyone. Boys and Girls Everyone! I think it should be a non-issue. Holding hands is much better than holding knifes and guns. Does not hurt anyone as long as sexual agendas are not pushed.

      • LuluRuruYuyu

        Of course, it come down to- can a schools even make a rule forbidding you from holding hands? I’m sure this falls under the first amendment somehow. Being a PUBLIC school, they are seriously overstepping their bounds.

        Also, Lesbians rock! Wish i was a girl…

    • JImmz

      BS Carmen. The rule is NO hand holding. Get off you stupid gay right issue and follow the rules. Dont be gay…. lol you igmo

  • Andrew

    Is this really what a “C” school needs to worry about? The administration should be ashamed of themselves. How about focusing on a way to improve the performance of your non-magnet students? As an Ely graduate I feel that you are not honoring the memory of Blanche Ely by focusing your energy on such a trivial matter. By the way I held my girlfriends hand everyday for two years without a hitch during my time as a Tiger. FOCUS ON WHAT MATTERS OR GET A NEW JOB!!!

    • Casey

      3.5 is a B average!

      • Amy

        “I bet your a dumb liberal decrying republicans as dumb rednecks”

        Haha! Please learn the difference between “your” and “you’re” before you comment on the intelligence of others.

      • yeah...

        It’s a B+ avg

      • Drew

        Maybe hit the books and try some reading comprehension..
        C school does not equal C student…

        I bet your a dumb liberal decrying republicans as dumb rednecks

    • fritz

      It may be a B average but it is probably higher than 90% of the other students in that school and 95% in a near majority of other schools across the country! So I would be commending the girl for her efforts instead of belittling or be condescending! There are a lot more serious and threatening problems to be addressed in our educational system than the simple and natural act of two people holing hands – teenage pregnancy for one! Educators need to reorient their focus and deal with real problems and not simple human acts like holing hands! Remember – in the last 40 years the United States has drop from being the best (#1) educated to anywhere from the 25th or even worse than that based on the study you consult. People holding hands at a high school had nothing to do with such a decline – so get serious and deal with the real problems that will draw even bigger headlines when those types of issues get resolved!

  • Dan Allison

    These people cannot even teach kids to read or write. Most of them cannot themselves read or write. They’re nothing but pinhead bureaucrats who like making rules and playing petty power games. Fire them all and let some business people and artists run the schools.

    • MichaelH

      “business people and artists run the schools.”

      Now, why didn’t I think of that? Not artistic enough, I guess.

    • Dave

      Please not artists. The wussification of America has gone overboard already.

      Fire the teachers, the ones who support socialism and don’t teach kids things they need to become productive in society ready for a dog eat dog world. Our kids come out of school today ignorant as all get out, and usually wearing milkbone underwear.

    • ATeacher

      yeah, but all the business people would cringe at the amount of regulations and get impatient when they realize you can’t just fire under-performing students and the artists would run away in fear after 2 hours with their feelings hurt.

      This was an absolutely horrible decision by the school admin.

      • Edinfred

        You can’t do it at work so get used to not doing it in High School

      • yeah....


    • Linda Holder

      I taught in a high school that hired ‘business’ people. They were unable to maintain classroom discipline and could not discern who was mastering the concepts taught. Even the students were aware they were not good teachers without knowing that these were teachers who had not been through the normal college curriculum and student teaching. Be careful what you ask for.

      • John Fox

        Funny thing .. I went to a high school where some teachers were unable to maintain classroom discipline and could not discern who was mastering the concepts taught. All the students knew the teachers they could get away with things with, and who they couldn’t.

        I would think a teacher would understand that stigmatizing an entire group of people because of the actions of a few is a type of bigotry. Guess they don’t teach that at teacher school.

      • Rick

        Spoken like a true UNION drone who couldn’t get arrested outside the public school system, let alone hired, even with your “rigorous” college curriculum. What a joke!

  • spiritrider

    This rule was obviously written by someone who didn’t ever have anybody wanting to hold their hand in shcool. They are taking out their pathological issues on the current students. It’s “holding hands” for pete’s sake.

    School’s are increasingly being run by Nazi’s gone power mad. It also sounds like the student president needs tostop being a kissupand get a life.

    • God

      No they aren’t. Schools are increasingly being run by leftist loons whose agenda it is to destroy the moral fiber of this country! Grow up.

      • Kayleigh

        How dare you call yourself “God”. That’s incredibly blasphemous. You’re pathetic.

  • js02

    What happened to the constitution. These are young adults, they have constitutional rights, just like everybody else. The school is about education, not micromanaging the lives of students. This falls totally within individual and parental conduct, and the school has absolutely no authority or right to make any rule like this. The board of education that endorsed this, or created the rule, is a little tyrant. Burn the bridge, educate the children instead of forcing them to toe the line of your social engineering ideology.

    • Eric Campbell

      They have no rights. They are there to learn and only to learn. Holding hands is not part of that equation.

    • Kayleigh

      js02- I completely agree with your post. I’m getting really sick of reading these The erosion of personal liberties has sped up to a faster pace lately. I think they’re using OBL’s death to usher in their police state even more. I worry for my children’s future. This country is tens of trillions of dollars in debt and the gov’t won’t bring our troops home and cut military spending. Nor will they cut entitlements. The Dems and Reps are the same thing at this point. Both parties are incredibly wasteful and greedy. They are not to be trusted. They have both turned against the people. The only one trust is Ron Paul. If you love the Constitution, he’s your candidate. If you don’t know much about hiim, look him up, research him and come to your own conclusions. I think that many Americans, whether Republican or Democrat, would love Ron Paul, if they only listened to him.

      • So

        So stop reading them, pretty simple logic.

      • Kayleigh

        Correction: “I’m getting really sick of reading these ARTICLES.

    • Lise Quinn

      No,actually minors do not have the same constitutional rights as adults. They are not considered mature enough to handle the responsibilities that go with those rights. They donot have the right to enter into contracts, they cannot own property, they cannot vote, they cannot They are minors and parentsand guardians are supposed to look out for their interests and provide protection and guidence.
      Beyond that the school is worrying about non-issues.

    • Scott C

      Not sure where “hand-holding” is in the Constitution, but whatever.

      The problem I have with this is that the administration says it’s a “learning environment”. The school’s piss-poor rating aside, you can’t expect to cloister upwards of 500 students of mixed genders, hormones raging, social-skills developing into a few small buildings for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and not expect SOMETHING to happen…they should be happy that it’s ONLY hand-holding.

      You can’t suppress a teenager’s burgeoning sex-drive entirely…only teach them responsibility, appropriateness, and boundaries. The school administrator’s heavy-handed “all-or-nothing” approach shows a fundamental lack of basic understanding of the teenage mind.

    • pook3

      first of all this is not about the Constitution. Kids have less rights than adults because in order to have rights you must have responsability, kids under 18 dont have a right to vote and in most states if your under 16 you dont have a right to drive. The school has absolutely all the authority in the world to make rules against holding hands. The students should worry about getting educated and quit crying over this ” so called oppresion” the kids better get used to the fact that there are rules in life that you have to follow wether you like them or not. Yes school is about education so thats what the kids and parents need to worry about instead of whining about there rights being violated. These kids today are spoiled because there parents want to be there freinds instead of parents. As far as i’m concerned we need to bring back corpral punishment in schools so the kids will know what dicipline is all about. Hopefully the school will stick to its guns on this one.

      • Flashman1854

        You’re correct is some points, but please do a spell check or two. It is “their” not “there rights”. Also, it should read: “if you’re under 16…” not “if YOUR under 16”. One more: “Its” should read “it’s”, as in “it is”.

        Read a grammar book.

      • MorganGray

        @LuluRuruYuyu, you think so? Try to exercise your First Amendment right of freedom of religion in school; or in front of an abortion mill. Then see how equally it is applied.

      • LuluRuruYuyu

        Wrong loser! This falls under the first amendment, in which EVERYONE in America is subject to.

      • Ron Stone

        You perfectly demonstrate the point several of us are trying to make: You get so involved in justifying irrelevant regulations that you don’t bother proofreading your work – assuming you were even paying attention in spelling class and would recognize your errors.

      • Ura

        Very true and well put pook3! This is not at all about their constitutional rights. I suppose all high school children also have the “right” to make babies and now we have CHILDREN raising children! Whatever happened to authority being right and children being told to obey!

      • Christina

        I don’t think Pook3 could have said it any better! I agree with Ron Stone and Ura too again more good points! :)

      • Ron in Illinois

        My thoughts exactly. Everyone hollers about “their rights”. Well, I remember when I was in High School we were prohibited from public display of affection. We grew up just fine. Everyone complains about students failing in school……well. it’s about time we returned our focus on learning. School is not a social club. Get used to it. The kids are not the one’s in control.

      • Linda

        Actually, high schools should be a reflection of life in the work place. My mantra at high school used to be, “You’re in training here to be an adult.” Public displays of affection were not permitted, and it applied to everyone.

    • JImmz

      Tell me where in the constitution it says you can hold hands.
      Just show me the language and I am with you.

    • Greg

      Actually, it has been decided in the courts that minors do not have the same rights as aduilts.

      • Linda

        Yes. The Supreme Court

  • teachermom74

    “Her and her friend was holding hands?”

    I hope the mother is more concerned about the grammar lessons her daughter is getting than if she can hold hands with her girlfriend in school. Maybe then the girl comes out sounding better than the mother!

  • woodNfish

    The problems with social engineering and failing academics at public schools will not be solved until we all go to tuition vouchers and schools compete for students. Tuition vouchers = freedom of choice.

  • Jimmy Nickers

    @Dan Allison “Most of them cannot themselves read or write”? Apparently, you are in the same group as the teachers you condemn. Sentence structure would dictate the sentence to be “Most of them cannot read or write themselves”.

    You should go back to high school and get what you missed before throwing some teachers under the proverbial bus.

    • MorganGray

      Nope, the sentence structure was correct; a bit British, but correct.
      The way your sentence reads, the teachers cannot read themselves as text or write themselves as text.
      As in: “They cannot read or write a book”.

    • Ron Stone

      You don’t know what you are talking about. Mr. Allison’s usage is perfectly correct and may be assumed to be so constructed to emphasize “themselves”. “Sentence structure” is either correct or not; any other criteria are simply matters of style.

      • Ron Stone

        Nickers: Your opinions are your own.

      • Jimmy Nickers

        Hey Ron, what is it that “they” cannot do? Read and write not themselves. Perfect example of style over substance. That sentence of Dan’s is acceptable for an 8th grade English class not a presumed high school graduate who is disparaging teachers.

    • Linda

      Thank you for your comment. So many people complain about poor high schools turning out illiterate students when the problem is students who refuse to do any more than will pass them to the next grade – if that!

  • lippy

    If you go to work at an office can you just go around holding hands? We need to get these students ready to enter the workforce as the good, productive drones their country needs.

  • tcat

    Homeschool. I think every parent should homeschool their kid. You don’t have to deal with nonsense like this. and maybe….just maybe, you’re kid will be able to read and write when they graduate.

    • Linda

      Never taught school have you? Teachers are now required to teach material at all levels for the students who are in same class using at least four different modes of teaching. Then there’s the requirement that all objectives must meet the state standards. Oh, and we have to keep them all awake and excited about what we’re teaching. This is tough when one girl is pregnant and wondering what to do, another has just been kicked out of his house because he just turned 18. Mom just announced she’s divorcing Dad. Somehow, social engineering has foisted all these problems on teachers shoulders now.

      • Joe Greenwell

        As a retired teacher I have taught. You make excuses! Teachers have no one but themselves to blame for their situations. If the teachers don’t like it they can change it. As I always told students “if you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem”.

  • bserius

    the real issue is that the mother of the girl cannot put together a correct sentence and should be in school herself


    why does anybody want to raise a kid with all this BS going on…this world is becoming a very scary place where soon we will have no rights.

  • http://Drewraines.com Drew

    The student body president needs to up the ante in intelligence. If she could explain the connection between learning and how holding hands really displaces the act of learning then she should continue to hold her student position, otherwise she should resign for such blatant propaganda. This whole school must be on medication and lack formal intellect.

  • John

    We have similar idiotic rules here in TN. Strange how I can go pick the boys up, or run an errand to the school and hear liberal use of the F-bomb, and apparently that is ok! A young lady got sent home the other day because her skirt was 3 inches above her knee, not acceptable, but nothing gets said to the other 200 girls that have their ass cheeks hanging out of their shorts! Sadly, the utter lack of common sense and good judgement is growing.

    • Freeland Dave

      John it’s all a part of the term called, Politically Correct. It doesn’t have to make sense, be right or wrong or anything else as long as it’s the PC thing to do.

      I can’t believe there is all this angst over two people holding hands in school. It’s absurd on the face of it.

      Look it objectively. In kindergarten and most of all the lower grade classes what is the one thing teachers, administrators and assistants have the students do when organizing them to go somewhere? “Now hold on to each others hand.”

      And regardless if her girl “friend” is one of a sexual nature or not, since when is holding the hands of someone you like or are fond of a problem? I can understand if they are swapping slop or fornicating in the hallways but good grief, holding hands?

      And if you get out of our parochial society and look at the rest of the world it’s common practice of members of the same sex, usually of the same age, to hold hands when going somewhere.

      Is anyone out there trying to tell me that one person holding the hands of another person leads to some type of sexual activity that would harm them or other students in the school? What about group prayer where people join hands in a circle when they pray together? What about sports teams of either sex joining hands when celebrating an event? What about young siblings holding the hands of their older brothers and sisters as they cross through a dangerous intersection? But nooooooo, let two girls hold hands while on a school campus, that’s a big problem and we have to suspend them for it. Are you folks really for real on this? Is this the most important thing that we need to worry about going on or not going on, like education, in our schools? Is there no common sense left anywhere in our society that is capable of discerning what is important to deal with and what isn’t?

      If this is of a sexual/lesbian nature, there I said what all of you are thinking, do you honestly think that what the school system is doing at this stage of their lives is going to really make any difference? What are you people smoking?

      This PC crap is killing our nation and apparently most of you people just can’t see it through your own personal biases. And no, i am not a bi-sexual, have any of those alternate lifestyle tenancies and firmly believe in a monogamous relationship with a woman. But I am not about to get all worked up over two high school girls, lesbian or not, holding hands. We have much more important things to concern ourselves with than this sort of crap.

  • west coast

    But homosexuality IS wrong and so is the sexualization of minor children. The administration isn’t out of line to enforce this rule on a same sex dating relationship but should enforce it uniformly and include heterosexual couples.

  • Bob

    Heterosexual couples holding hands would be fine. Homosexuality is wrong.

  • Photoshop Barry

    All games are circus as the empire debases the currency and slowly circles the drain. The public schools are as complicit as Hollyweird in promoting perversion, selfishness and utter lack of respect for other humans. Just a matter of time now.

  • David Pittelli

    Obviously you can’t allow hand-holding in the halls of a high school. The next thing you know it will be full penetration on the teachers’ desks!

  • catbird

    The degraded state of American society is on full display here. Homosexual conduct is a bad thing and making the argument that it is equivalent to a heterosexual relationship sanctioned within the bounds of holy matromony does a tremendous disservice to young people who look to adults and popular culture for life models.

    “Holding hands” and “Dating” are innocent things that young people do….creat an atmosphere that allows children understand the proper role for their impulse to life and everything else will balance out.

    This whole thing sounds like an episode of “Glee”.

  • Ron Stone

    Another example of bureaucrats with too much time on their hands and too fuzzy a concept of what they are paid to accomplish. Attempting to regulate behavior down to this level only demonstrates the existence of the bureaucrats, and in fact is a distraction from the school’s stated purpose equivalent to what they will claim for the behavior being regulated.

  • kf

    Were any of these “decision makers” ever teens? Good Grief!
    First of all, how nice for the tax payers to know that their money is being spent to make and enforce rules like this instead of teacher salaries. Second, I would think the parents can force the issue too. You to realize that this would be extended to hugging, kissing, and potentially even TALKING with your fellow students. You might say something suggestive or offensive after all. How sad.

  • West Coast Sanity

    I don’t know where my last comment went, but I’ll say it again. The school’s administration isn’t out of line in enforcing this rule on these two girls. Homosexuality is wrong and was classified as a mental illness as recently as the 70’s. It was declassified as an illness not because of scientific findings, but because of the persistence of pro-homosexual political lobbyists. Not only is homosexuality wrong, but so is the accepted sexualization of minor children. Most public High School campuses are allowed to be an extremely sexually charged atmosphere. This isn’t healthy, isn’t conducive to learning and shouldn’t be the case. The ban on public displays of affection should be equally applied to homosexual and heterosexuals. That is where the school’s administration is in error.

  • harry

    Really – don’t the adults at this high school have better things to do than to monitor who’s holding hands or not? The principle should be fired on the grounds of no sense of proportion.

  • Alesia

    On one hand our schools are requiring all kids to learn everything they can about sex from day one. On the other, the schools won’t let kids hold hands.
    Hmmmm, are we really so suprised that teaching mixed messages instead of the basics of education is creating a mess? We now have kids that know how to put a condom on a cucumber, masturbate and experiment with any and all kinds of sex; but can’t hold hands at school.
    Can’t have it both ways…. pick one.

  • Johnny Boychuk

    Well it’s clear Bderaiah Baker is a loser who won’t hold a boys hand until she finishes grad school. Focus on that GPA and leave your peers alone, CHRIST. Also, and I’m just guessing here, look into some Acutane.

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