Principal says students removed for dancing "inappropriately" - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Principal says students removed for dancing "inappropriately"

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(10/01/12) - There was no fight. No reports of alcohol smuggled in.

Instead, Grand Blanc High School Principal Jennifer Hammond says it was inappropriate dancing that prompted the removal of more than two dozen students from the homecoming dance Saturday.

In a letter put out to parents and obtained by ABC12, Hammond says, "For the past few years, the manner in which our students have been dancing has become inappropriate and at times, downright lewd and overtly sexual."

"It has gotten so bad that many staff members no longer want to chaperone the dances."

The letter indicates a decision was made, last spring, to enforce a face-to-face only rule in order to continue to have the dances.

14-year-old Freshmen McKenna Hale says she found herself leaving the homecoming dance almost as soon as she arrived with her date and large group of friends.

"Half my group got kicked out for inappropriately dancing and our whole group had to leave," she says.

Hale says she didn't see anything different then what you'd typically see at a school dance.

Other students we spoke with saw it the same way.

Many said large groups left the dance once the initial couples were asked to leave.  About 700 students stayed, according to Hammond's letter.

In the letter to parents, Hammond explains about 15 couples were removed because "...they refused to dance face-to-face."

Hammond's letter indicates students sign a dance policy, at least one announcement was made prior to Saturday and then again before the dance Saturday.  The rules were also outlined on ticket stubs.

Hale says she and her friends now considering skipping out on the next scheduled dance - the Sadie Hawkins dance.

"They're trying to prove a point but I don't think they're going the right way around it," Hale says.

ABC12 did not hear back from Hammond or the district's superintendent Monday.

Several parents have said there was a similar situation, involving inappropriate dancing, at Swartz Creek's homecoming last week.
The majority of parents we spoke with Monday applauded the decision to remove the students if they were acting inappropriately.   Some said they just wish the situation had been handled differently. 

Letter sent to parents:

Dear GBHS Parents,
I wanted to inform you about a situation that occurred last night at the Homecoming Dance. For the past few years, the manner in which our students have been dancing has become inappropriate and at times, downright lewd and overtly sexual. It has gotten so bad that many staff members no longer want to chaperone the dances. In fact, last spring after the Sadie's Dance and Prom we made a decision that we would have to enforce a face-to-face dancing rule in order to continue to have dances.
To inform students and parents about our dance policy, we provided a copy for each family in the summer packet and required students and parents to sign the agreement. Only students who turned in this agreement were allowed to purchase tickets for the dance. These same rules were posted on the back of each homecoming ticket. Additionally, I made an announcement to the student body on Thursday afternoon explaining the fact that we would be enforcing the face-to-face dancing rule and those who failed to comply would be asked to leave. And just to make sure that each student at the dance understood this rule, we reiterated the policy and the consequences as they entered the dance.
Unfortunately, we did remove about 15 couples from the dance because they refused to dance face-to-face. At about 9:45, some students were upset about this rule and decided to leave the dance. For the remaining 700 students, they danced the night away (face-to-face) and had a great time.
I am sorry if this has caused you or your child any frustration. Believe me, I want our students to have a positive social experience during their time at GBHS. Our expectations for future dances will be for all students to dance appropriately and this policy will be strictly enforced.

Jennifer Hammond, Ph.D.
Grand Blanc High School

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