(Raleigh News Observer) Walking to class one morning, Sterling-Wolf Ayers performed a ritual practiced by countless love-struck teenagers in innumerable high school hallways: He held his girlfriend’s hand.
The gesture caught the eye of a vice principal, who told the couple twice to knock it off. Ayers pleaded his case all the way to the principal, but walked away feeling his affections had been unjustly curbed.
So a few days into the school year, the junior at J.H. Rose High School took his cause to social media, starting his own Facebook page dedicated to the protection of hand-holding. So far, it has garnered 31 “likes” and a string of comments.
“Let’s fight for our hand-holding rights and more!” writes Ayers, 16.
The Pitt County school system, which includes J.H. Rose, has no official policy that bars grasping mitts. Principal Charlie Langley said he has no problem with the practice, common in high schools. He said that Ayers’ conduct was flagged only because it went beyond hand-holding, but he didn’t elaborate and Ayers insists that nothing transpired besides palm-to-palm contact.
Ayers wasn’t disciplined, Langley said; only reminded that students need to follow teachers’ instructions.
But the dust-up in Greenville illustrates the tricky regulation of public affection, subject to local morality standards.
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