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Schools: Would You Grind On The Dance If Grandma Were Watching?
Filed under: In The News
It's difficult to grind to Burt Bacharach -- or at least one West Hollywood high school hopes so.
A recent threat by Pacific Hills School to turn up the lights and play Bacharach's music is just one indication that adults are fed up with suggestive dancing -- otherwise known as "grinding" or "freaking" -- at school dances, MSNBC reports.
Schools across the nation are canceling dances, requiring students to sign agreements that spell out acceptable dancing techniques and behavior and asking students to get their groove on as if "Grandma is watching" -- all thanks to a pervasive dancing style in which partners simulate sexual acts to the beat.
The dancing isn't the only issue, school administrators say. Short skirts, lingerie-style outfits and "inappropriate touching" are also on the radar. Seattle's Nathan Hale High School postponed its winter semi-formal after an incident at the school's homecoming celebration.Before students were allowed to have another dance, principal Jill Hudson asked students to propose a plan for appropriate dance conduct. Now, students who attend the school's semi-formal (scheduled for March) will have to sign a contract stating that they won't engage in "lewd contact." Those who do will get a warning after one offense and will be kicked out of the dance after the second.
Students at Aliso Niguel High School in Aliso Viejo, Calif., also need to sign a contract forbidding them to grind, wear garters, excessively short skirts or other visible lingerie. Also forbidden? Removing your shirt. Go figure.
"The sexual nature of the dancing just seemed to be increasing," principal Charles Salter tells MSNBC, adding that this kind of behavior isn't limited to his school. "One school found condoms on the floor."
Minnetonka High School in Minnesota ditched the contracts and instead engaged in tongue-in-cheek campaign it calls "Dance Like Grandma's Watchin'."
Principal David Adney tells MSNBC that invoking Grandma gets teens in their gut: Kids may not care about annoying their parents, but still want their grandmothers' respect. The school crafted a series of videos for the campaign, including one where a student is rejected from Harvard College because of a grinding incident.
Adney says the campaign works.
"It's about creating a culture of respect and inclusion," he tells the news station. Here's one video from the campaign:
Is grinding just good, clean fun or are schools doing the right thing by cracking down on suggestive dancing?
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.