Westwood High School students hold hands to support principal over punishment

MESA, AZ - More than 100 students held hands and walked through a Mesa high school campus Monday morning to show support for the school's principal after he was criticized for punishment handed down to two students.

The Westwood High School students gathered around 10 a.m. to hold hands in support of Dr. Tim Richard and their school, according to e-mails sent to ABC15 by students.

The show of support lasted more than 15 minutes before the students headed back to class.

The action came after Richard and the school were criticized last week for punishing two male students who had been fighting by making them hold hands in class.

The boys had been given a choice between holding hands in front of their classmates or suspension.

A picture of the teenagers hiding their faces was posted on Facebook where several comments criticized the punishment saying it was inappropriate.

Some criticized the punishment as bullying and sending a negative message to gay students.

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