'Footloose' for Real: Nova Scotia High School Bans Dances

Filed under: In The News, Alcohol & Drugs

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Even the hero of "Footloose" might not be able to get school officials at Sydney Academy to kick off their Sunday shoes. Credit: Amazon

A small-town high school has banned dances?

This looks like a job for ... Kevin Bacon! Quick! Call the Bacon phone! Send up the Bacon Signal!

Unfortunately, even the hero of "Footloose" might not be able to get school officials at Sydney Academy in Nova Scotia, Canada, to kick off their Sunday shoes. The Toronto Sun reports they didn't ban school dances for religious reasons -- students at the dances were getting drunk and turning violent.

Principal Kevin Deveaux tells the Sun he's seen drunk and rowdy teens before, but things got way out of hand last week.

"It really was scary," he says.

A large number of kids showed up drunk or high on drugs, he tells the newspaper. Fights allegedly broke out everywhere. One kid punched another in the face and broke his nose.

Police outside the dance broke up what was about to be a major brawl, Deveaux tells the Sun.

"If we didn't have cruisers there, that could have been very ugly," he says.

The Sun reports 25 to 30 of the 600 students at the dance were suspended, and some even went home in the backs of squad cars. Deveaux tells the newspaper there were a lot more students who were drunk or high who didn't get busted.

Even though there were four police officers, six security guards and 15 to 20 chaperones at the dance, he adds, "it still wasn't enough."

Deveaux tells the Sun the problem is that parents and society in general have become far too permissive of underage drinking, and students don't suffer enough serious consequences for their actions.

"I think there's an increasing attitude from parents that kids are going to drink when they're not legally able to. A large percentage of kids drink, and the other thing is they drink and come to the dances because they don't see any consequence," he adds. "They're not often charged. At most they get a suspension from school, and this being the last dance of the year, they start to think, 'Well, what's the worst that could happen to me?' The most we can do is a five-day suspension."

So, no more dances. Period.

"It's not safe," Deveaux tells the Sun. "It's not educationally sound. Who in their right mind would endorse that activity?"

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.