The principal and dean of students at a high school in Vermont cancelled the fall homecoming dance in an effort to stop students from “twerking”
Bad news for the students of Mount Anthony Union High School as their Fall Homecoming dance has been cancelled but has been done so for some pretty good reasons. The principal and dean of the high school together made the decision to cancel the event in order to stop the students from ‘twerking’, a trend which they allege was started by Miley Cyrus ever since she appeared in a provocative appearance at the 2103 MTV Video Music Awards.
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The school’s Principal Sue Maguire and Dean of Students David Beriau signed a letter and published it in the Bennington Banner. The letter explains why the dance was cancelled and is an effort towards trying to get the students to figure out how to “find the balance between free expression and appropriate school behavior at dances.” This is not the first cancellation of a dance event. Many such incidents have occurred before because adults feel that the youngsters need to realize that this is inappropriate dancing. A similar incident took place back in 2011 at Skaneateles High School in New York when a winter dance was cancelled owing to sexually charged dancing.
The following paragraphs show the letter in part which was published by the authorities at Mount Anthony Union High School.
Over the past couple of years, since Miley Cyrus took the stage “twerking” at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, our students’ dancing behavior has crossed the line of what we can condone as appropriate behavior at a school. Twerking is dancing to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving a low squatting stance and thrusting movements. Students do not face one another or remain with the same person for the length of the song….
As a school we are responsible to keep students safe and teach them how to interact with others appropriately. One of the issues that emerges with this highly sexualized form of dancing is consent.
When faculty spoke with some of our students about how the dancing starts between two people, we were told by students that someone just comes up behind you and starts. One female described being uncomfortable when a male student she didn’t know started “grinding” with her from behind. Other students in the discussion agreed with her and said it is not uncommon. They explained to us no one asks permission before “grinding” nor do they ask the other person if they want to dance.
We need to engage in conversations with our students about how to be respectful of each other.
We have been asked why we don’t just stop it. Try to picture our cafeteria, with 400 to 500 students in tight clusters of about 80 students. It is very difficult to get into the middle of the clusters to monitor every student who is dancing inappropriately.”
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