Controversial dance style banned at East Lyme High SchoolPosted: Updated:
Students at one local high school are in an uproar after a plan to enforce a ban on a controversial style of dance at school functions is being discussed.
Students at East Lyme High School are discussing the issue after school officials said there would be consequences for inappropriate dancing, called grinding, at school dances.
Grinding is when two people are dancing but are both facing the same direction, move in the same direction and the body in front isn't bent forward at more than a 45-degree angle.
It's behavior that the principal said is inappropriate.
"I'm just making a plea to the student body to step up and correct the dancing before I have to," principal Michael Susi said to The Viking Saga last year. "The question is: do you want to be part of the decision or a recipient of the decision?"
If the students disobey the ban, they may be asked to leave the school function early and school officials may or may not contact their parents.
In addition, those students risk the possibility of not being allowed to attend any other functions for the year.
The threats are not sitting well with many students.
"I understand where they're coming from because if someone's hands are on the ground that is kind of disgusting," said senior Ashley Craddock. "But for a lot of us we don't...there should be a happy medium between the two."
The school newspaper Viking Saga published an editorial opposing the ban. Student staff writers said they should allow the dance style, but should ban a more provocative version of grinding.
Hundreds of students even boycotted the homecoming dance because of the ban.
A ban that, according to the Viking Saga, cost the senior class at least $3,500 in ticket sales.
"The new policy has massive unintended consequences," the Viking Saga published. "The 245 tickets sold this year compared to the 600 sold the previous year resulted in lost revenue."
Math teacher Lauren Brake recently had an editorial opinion published in school paper, in which she stated the dance is comparable to "animal behavior."
"Its time to take responsibility and begin behaving like adults," she said in the editorial opinion piece.
Senior Sydney Swanson said a few students spoiled it for everyone.
"Last year, there were a couple of students that were inappropriate," she said.
Several students said they can understand why there is a ban in place, they just want to be heard.
"Our school continually upholds an excellent image, and the administration should focus less on how students' dancing will impact it," said student Zoe Smallidge.
Parents said students are influenced by vocalists such as Lady Gaga and they are trying to mimic them.
"Honestly, I think that it should be parental judgement," said parent Merryll Simon. "If you raised your kids appropriately teach them morals and self respect then they won't be acting like that around their friends.
Susi told Eyewitness News this issue is an ongoing process. He said the student senate will come up with some proposals and they'll continue the dialogue on what should be done.
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