Local high schools have been cracking down on student behavior lately, but not in the classroom. Administrators are instead regulating behavior at school dances.
Inappropriate and explicit teen dancing has been a long-running issue at high school events throughout Southern California, and parents and teachers have struggled to find a way to effectively stop it. They may have finally figured it out.
The solution? Make the students and parents sign binding, pre-dance agreements called “Dance Contracts.”
And like any good contract, these agreements leave little room for argument or interpretation when it comes to teens’ dance moves.
Downey High School’s contract states, “no touching breasts, buttocks or genitals. No straddling each other’s legs. Both feet on the floor.”
Ventura Unified adds “When dancing back to front, all dancers must remain upright -- no sexual bending is allowed.”
The school dance has come a long way, hasn't it?
Accroding to the Los Angeles Times, students who don’t follow the stated rules are given warnings by chaperones on “freak patrol” before they are kicked out of the dance. No refunds, no second chances.
But not every school is taking such a hard line. Others prefer to deal with the problem in a more light-hearted way.
At Hollywood’s Pacific Hills School, if couples are dancing inappropriately, chaperones will turn on the lights and change the music, a method that is usually effective in breaking couples apart.
Yet, some schools are taking it even further than the contract, regulating not only dancing but attire as well.
Aliso Niguel has provided examples of appropriate and inappropriate attire on its website. Their 2-page contract bans bubble dresses, exposed undergarments, sheer or low cut dresses and bare midriffs.
But it’s not just the girls who have a dress code. Boys are barred from toting hats, canes or chains.
Many parents and school officials believe that these agreements are working well in eliminating the inappropriate behavior. However some argue that as tastes in popular music change, the “freaking” dance style would go out of fashion on its own.
Reality is that every generation does something that parents find appalling.
Schools felt these contracts were necessary as the possibility of sexual harassment suits became more and more evident. Also, widespread use of social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace left opportunity for the publication of inappropriate pictures taken at school functions.