Two Arizona high school students were reportedly forced to hold hands in front of their classmates as punishment for fighting, a disciplinary measure now drawing criticism.
ABC15.com reports that the unidentified students at Westwood High in Mesa were apparently given the option to hold hands instead of being suspended.
"Kids were laughing at them and calling them names, asking, 'Are you gay?'" said student Brittney Smyers, who witnessed the punishment earlier this week.
Most students at the school said they thought the punishment was better than getting suspended, but acknowledged it was humiliating. Others posted comments on a Facebook picture of the two students indicating that they thought the punishment was inappropriate.
Mesa Public School District officials, meanwhile, indicated that the disciplinary measure was not appropriate.
“The district does not condone the choice of in-school discipline given these students, regardless of their acceptance or willingness to participate,” the statement read. “District leadership will address this matter with the school principal and review district protocol regarding student discipline with all administrators.”