The culture in our schools is not just formed in classrooms in a learning setting. It is created at every activity, athletic event and dance sponsored by the school. As adults, we are responsible for teaching our youth of tomorrow what is acceptable public behavior and what is not. We are responsible for creating a safe environment and school culture - free from invasions of personal space, free from sexual advances and free from being subjected to lewd and obscene acts.
A common dance which has become social norm in many dance clubs around the nation (and has infiltrated our high schools) is "grinding" and "twerking". Here is the Wiki Definition of grinding: "Grind dancing or grinding, otherwise known as freaking...is a type of close partner dance where two or more dancers rub or bump their bodies against each other, especially a male dancer rubbing his frontal lower area against a female dancer's buttocks, an imitation of rear-entry or 'doggie-style' intercourse. A more explicit form of the dance is known as daggering."
This is happening in our schools. Some girls are allowing it. Some boys are perpetuating it. The culture is akin to an adult dance or bar, not an underage, high school dance.
In some instances, boys are approaching girls they have never met - essentially strangers to them - from behind, pressing their genitalia against the female's backside in an attempt to dance in this fashion. Most young people would never think to rub their clothed genitalia agianst strangers in any other setting. In fact, in any other setting, this would be termed sexual harassment and authorities would be called.
This dance is concerning for many reasons - This type of dancing is very anonymous. The girl's face is hidden from the boy's sight and the girl given no explicit means to consent to advances, barring any attempt to break away physically; and the boy will assume she complies. This creates a predatory environment at our school dances.
My goal in writing to you today is to encourage the Board to implement a “zero-tolerance” policy regarding sexually suggestive and explicit dancing at school dances within the district.
Zero tolerance means zero tolerance. If a student is caught dancing in a sexually explicit way, they should be asked to leave the premises and their parents called. NO WARNINGS.
Additionally, I would like the Board to include in its Board Policies, in its “Conduct” section as well as its “Positive School Climate” section, language prohibiting lewd and obscene acts which include sexually explicit dancing or overt public displays of affection on campus at any time.
Furthermore, the high school and middle school handbooks (which students and parents must sign and acknowledge) needs to be modified to emphasize the topic of inappropriate dancing and other sexually suggestive behaviors. Currently, in one of the high school handbooks, on p.19, “inappropriate dancing” is mentioned, but only after six bullet points addressing the issue of ticket sales. Conduct seems to be an after-thought, not a priority.
It is also important that the Board set forth a per student minimum of chaperons that must be in attendance at every dance or school sponsored activity. This must not only be set forth in writing in the Board Policies, but schools must implement and follow this procedure to ensure proper safety of our children. I will personally volunteer to chaperon at a dance or activity if needed.
The culture in our schools is not just formed in classrooms in a learning setting. It is created at every activity, athletic event and dance sponsored by the school. As adults, we are responsible for teaching our youth of tomorrow what is acceptable public behavior and what is not. We are responsible for creating a safe environment - free from invasions of personal space, free from sexual advances and free from being subjected to lewd and obscene acts.
Many of the young girls attending these dances feel threatened by this dancing and often have to formulate a "game plan" for avoiding unwanted sexual contact with others at the dance when they are subjected to grinding, freaking and twerking-type dance moves, which entails full genital contact , oftentimes without warning.
The implementation of these suggested policies not only protects the school, but also unwitting teenage boys (who may be participating out of group pressure) from potential law suits brought forth by a young girl who may feel violated at one of these dances.
Let's elevate our youth through good wholesome activities that promote healthy self esteem and healthy body image. These dance moves belong in a strip club or bar, not a high school where underage MINORS are present.