Ask Sam letter


To Sam

school and relationships

hello im a 15 year old girl and i have been going out with this boy for about 4 months now and he spends time with me and school eg. hugging and kissing and school tell us off i dont know why maybe you know why ?  :D 
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thank you for writing to me. It sounds like you are feeling confused because the school have told you off and you’re not sure why. From what you have told me it sounds like they were unhappy about your boyfriend hugging and kissing while you are at school.

I don’t know if you have ever heard of “public displays of affection” or “PDAs” but that is what people sometimes people call hugging and kissing in public. Seeing other people’s PDAs can feel a bit uncomfortable sometimes. Everyone will have their own ideas about how much physical affection it’s OK to show in front of other people. Most people think that a quick kiss or hug in public is OK but much more than that is best kept for somewhere private. It’s absolutely OK to hug and kiss your boyfriend in private if that is what you want and feel comfortable with, but it might be a good idea to tone it down a bit when other people are around.

Lots of places like restaurants, cafes, sports or youth centres will tell people off if they are getting too physically affectionate because it’s not something that should be happening in front of other people. Some schools might even have specific rules about how much physical contact between students is OK. You haven’t told me what sort of school you go to, but I’m guessing there are probably much younger students there, so it’s important that they are protected from seeing anything inappropriate.

I hope this helps you to understand why your school might have told you off. Of course, it is possible that they told you off for a different reason and if you think that what I have suggested doesn’t sound right then you could always talk to a teacher you like or trust to see if they can help you to understand what happened. If you’d like to talk about it more or have any questions, then you are welcome to talk to one of our counsellors, either by calling us on 0800 1111 or logging on for a 1-2-1 chat, which works like instant messenger. You might also find it helpful to have a look at the message boards on the ChildLine website. This is a space where young people can share their experiences and advice and there are sections on school and sex and relationships.

Take care,


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