High School Principal Cancels Homecoming Due to Twerking Fears

homecoming dance coupleFirst we have the public shaming of a student who wore what school staff deemed inappropriate and now we have a principal who has already cancelled Homecoming because she fears the kids will be twerking like Miley Cyrus. The heathens! How dare they dance that way!

Don't they know that nobody puts Baby in a corner. (That's a Dirty Dancing reference for those not familiar.) This time it's not Patrick Swayze's hips that are putting the far-too-stodgy in a huff, it's Miley's behind doing that oh-so tantalizing twerk that will no doubt make all the kids who try it pregnant by the end of Homecoming night. Cancel it! Mount Anthony Union High School Principal Sue Maguire cried.


Principal Maguire is calling it a "highly sexualized form of dancing" and detailed her disgust over twerking in a letter to the editor of the Bennington Banner.

Clearly she doesn't realize that twerking is so 2013. She penned:

We have received questions regarding why we have canceled the upcoming Homecoming dance and wanted to provide clarification so there isn’t misinformation in our community. 

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. 

If you haven’t seen twerking, I would encourage you to research this online. 

That's some naughty research. She goes on:

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.

Okay. This I can get behind. (That was not a twerking reference.) Now I understand where she is coming from a bit better. But this is a problem that isn't going to go away just because a dance is cancelled. This is an issue they (along with parents) must address because if some students have an issue with understanding consent, a little dance cancellation isn't going to cure those who are out of line and disrespectful.

I can't believe I'm saying this but we cannot blame twerking, or villainize that vile dance move. We can't hide behind something Miley Cyrus did at last year's VMAs when the real issue is far more upsetting.

What do you think? Should the dance be cancelled? Do you think there is a deeper issue here as well?


Image via Don O'Brien/Flickr

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