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Arizona Principal Punishes Two High School Boys by Forcing Them to Hold Hands: VIDEO


Tim Richard, a high school principal in Arizona, punished two boys for fighting this week by forcing them to hold hands, ABC News reports:

Earlier this week, the two students at Westwood High School in Mesa, Ariz., who have not been named, were faced with the prospect of either suspension from school, or sitting in chairs in the high school’s courtyard and holding hands for 15 minutes during a lunch period. They opted for the latter.

“Kids were laughing at them and calling them names, asking, ‘Are you gay?’” student Brittney Smyers told ABC affiliate KNXV.

Teens at the high school inevitably posted photos of the two, who spent the time shielding their faces with their heads in their hands, to social media sites.

On the Facebook posting, users commented that the public punishment is not appropriate, as it positions the teens as targets for taunting and name-calling. Others suggested the punishment was anti-gay, as it implies two males holding hands is embarrassing.

The school district has denounced the principal's punishment.

Watch the ABC News report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. What a school and what a Principal! Never though such kinds even existed. Time for reality check. Grow up guys!

    Posted by: Markus | Nov 30, 2012 5:03:50 PM

  2. It's Arizona...are you really that surprised that something like this could happen in the state that keeps electing Jan Brewer and Joe Arpaio?

    Posted by: Keith | Nov 30, 2012 5:07:17 PM

  3. What if it was a lover's fight? Did the principal just out them?

    Posted by: gb | Nov 30, 2012 5:07:48 PM

  4. I'm guessing that if the district has any ethics (a big if, I admit), this principal will be suspended in short order. Who would support this sort of punishment? Certainly not gay rights or antigay organizations, so that leaves no one.

    Posted by: Paul R | Nov 30, 2012 5:08:14 PM

  5. SRSLY... how do get to remain that f'n stoopid and still be a principal of a school?

    I know a lot of educators these days and none of them is dim. AZ must really be a wasteland.

    Posted by: Pete N SFO | Nov 30, 2012 5:08:17 PM

  6. Arizona is really going all out to take the Most Out Of Touch & Backwards State crown

    Posted by: Jmac | Nov 30, 2012 5:08:57 PM

  7. Why would a guy wear a bright pink shirt if he's gonna be forced to hold hands with another guy while being publicly humiliated?

    Posted by: oheck | Nov 30, 2012 5:12:54 PM

  8. Regardless of what viewpoint you come from, this punishment is ridiculous. Outside of the weather, and my job, I really think AZ is off it's f'n rocker.

    Posted by: jakeinlove | Nov 30, 2012 5:24:16 PM

  9. Boy this is gonna cause a shite storm

    Posted by: Stephen | Nov 30, 2012 6:15:48 PM

  10. I think they should held hands and hugged (straight, gay, who cares?) to give a FU to the principal.

    Posted by: dgelman | Nov 30, 2012 6:17:53 PM

  11. @Keith: No Keith, actually I wouldn't have surprised if it were a hate crime or bullying of other short but having a Principal involved in something as pathetically childish as asking for holding hands and questioning if they were gay or faggot it just bitterly sad and shameful.

    P.S.: I might be surprised because I didn't know about the Arizona thingy as I, never in my life, have visited the States. My country is obviously not as modern as the States in a number of aspects but to be honest, we share a much higher degree of human compassion that the ones in the relatively modernized state of Arizona. And here, a Principal of a good School could never be so evil that's why I found it really weird.

    Posted by: Markus | Nov 30, 2012 6:20:33 PM

  12. So two guys fight and the principal makes them hold hands for 15 minutes. Other than the mocking for "being gay" the other kids heaped upono them (which should have been stopped) this sounds like a good lesson, to make peace and make up, even forcibly. No?

    Posted by: Ken | Nov 30, 2012 7:01:40 PM

  13. This was actually a good punishment. Force two people who don't like each other to hold hands. I think this is called "The Breakfast Club"

    Posted by: Nate | Nov 30, 2012 7:21:39 PM

  14. @Markus - you don't live in the U.S.? Why were you so invested in the last presidential election? You were positive that Romney was going to win in the same manner as Reagan. Why would you have such an interest in the elections of other countries than your own? I can understand a passing interest, but your interest wasn't passing. I wish I could see your IP address.

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Nov 30, 2012 7:25:57 PM

  15. @Markus: the principle did not ask them if they were gay - that was the behavior of their peers. It's possible that these two were spending the rest of the time pushing the other students around, hence the reaction towards them, but such details have not been reported in what I've read so far.

    Posted by: Bill | Nov 30, 2012 7:36:18 PM


    Posted by: 2 Dads | Nov 30, 2012 7:56:15 PM

  17. God I wish that were me in that would have been an honor to cash the check from that school district that would surely make me rich.

    Posted by: Greg Cali | Nov 30, 2012 7:56:51 PM

  18. ACLU: You've got a winner here.

    Posted by: DatDude | Nov 30, 2012 7:57:04 PM

  19. My first thought was perhaps the principal knew something about them that others do not, i.e. their fighting was indicative of an erotic attraction. My second thought was that if these guys were cool and wanted to get the principal back, they would have hugged and done some open mouth kissing. My third thought is that as flawed as this punishment is it just might open up many possibilities of discussion on many levels.

    Posted by: Giovanni | Nov 30, 2012 8:34:55 PM

  20. Hard to do at their age, but if these boys had any self-confidence and style they would hold hands with aplomb, uplifted smiling or bored faces and mutual bad mouthing with their audience. I wouldn't go so far as kissing (typical gay overkill) but calm in the face of the storm might have worked as well as it was worn. I think it's funny, even kind of charming.

    Posted by: UFFDA | Nov 30, 2012 9:08:47 PM

  21. Mesa, Arizona is one of the more Mormon cities in the United States, is extremely red, and most people in the city appear to agree with the "punishment" that they view two men holding hands as being.

    If this week has been a reminder of anything, it's that it's the same people, cultures, and the same areas, where nothing has changed in terms of homophobia. This incident, the South Lyon incident, Rick Warren denigrating us again on national TV, Mallory Owens bashing, the ignorant TCU Christian hick Tank Carder and the NFL's lack of response. We've made a lot of progress. But there clearly is a lot of work to do throughout many regions and many careers where homophobia continues to reign supreme.

    Posted by: Francis | Nov 30, 2012 9:21:26 PM

  22. Arizona...Florida's retarded cousin.

    Posted by: StudioTodd | Nov 30, 2012 9:28:04 PM

  23. that is a great punishment. What concerns me is the reaction from the kids around them. Just shows we have a long way to go.

    Posted by: justin | Nov 30, 2012 11:21:54 PM

  24. I think the punishment is just fine - if you're going to act like children and fight; act like men and settle your differences and hold hands! The principal didn't have poor judgment, the ridiculing students did. The is a good way for conflict/resolution. There is NOTHING sexual about this - when did we equate holding an enemy's hand to butt sex? This country has to grow up.

    Posted by: Matthew | Nov 30, 2012 11:40:55 PM

  25. Pretty savvy move by the principal IMO. As punishment for fighting, he made these two boys look like they were gay for each other. If that were me, I would have taken the suspension.

    Posted by: CeeJaye | Dec 1, 2012 1:29:19 AM

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