(Source: Facebook) A couple of Westwood High School Warriors were humbled after a fight and now pictures of the high school boys holding hands as punishment and covering their heads are all over Facebook.
(Source: CBS 5 News) Some people support the hand-holding punishment dished out by the Westwood High School principal, even if the school district does not.
MESA, AZ (CBS5) -
The idea of public humiliation as an appropriate punishment is certainly a controversial topic.
A couple of Westwood High School Warriors were humbled after a fight, and pictures of the high school boys holding hands as punishment and covering their heads are all over Facebook.
One of those young men is 14-year-old Charles Crockett, who admitted to ditching classes at the Mesa school Thursday because he said everyone was still teasing him about it.
He said the ordeal started in P.E. class Wednesday.
"I told him to hit me and he hit me and we all started fighting," Charles said.
The freshman said he and a sophomore named Julio were sent to Principal Tim Richard's office, where he gave the boys a clear choice.
"The principal told us options and so we picked holding hands instead of getting suspended," Crockett said.
The two locked palms for about an hour in the middle of campus during lunch while the entire student body witnessed their humiliation.
"I thought it was, like, really funny because you never see that nowadays. They're just sitting there. They're both, like, so ashamed and their heads down," freshman Stella Nunez said.
"They was making fun of me and everything and I just wanted to yell at them but I couldn't. I just put my head down," Crockett said.
The choice to hold hands was painful, he said.
"They did get laughed at. And that's a hard thing for a kid to be laughed at," said parent Terri Egger.
But for Crockett at least, the alternative was worse.
"Because I'm on a contract with the principal and if I fight again I have to switch schools," Crockett said.
The situation has pushed Westwood's first-year principal into the spotlight.
"I think he's great," Egger said.
CBS 5 News found a sign in a front yard near the high school which reads, "Westwood neighborhood supports Principal Richard."
The neighborhood might support the principal's tactic, but the school district does not.
Mesa Public Schools released a statement which reads in part:
"The district does not condone the choice of in-school discipline given these students, regardless of their acceptance or willingness to participate. District leadership will address this matter with the school principal, and review district protocol regarding student discipline with all administrators."
Nevertheless, the lesson taught at Westwood on Wednesday was not lost.
CBS 5 News asked Crockett what he learned from the whole incident. "Don't fight in school," he said.
Copyright 2012 KPHO CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.