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Menomonee Falls High School returns to 1950′s anti-dancing rules [updated for added thoughts]

January 28, 2010

There are a couple ways I could go with this. I could just make fun of people over the age of 40 not understanding the current trends and culture of high school students or I could attack MFHS’ archaic anti-fun rules overly politically correct bureaucrats that get off stifling freedom of expression of their students. Either way I’m going to make excessive Footloose references, because we gotta cut loose, footloose.

This is what is going on in Menomonee Falls RIGHT NOW -no not the 1950′s- this is current and it’s even making Local News (on slow nights). I’ve also been made aware that Charlie Sykes talked about this and sided with the administration. I’d like to know how he can justify speaking against an oppressive liberal administration in DC while siding with another oppressive administration in a neighboring community. But apparently Menomonee Falls High School students have taken to a ‘sexualized’ dance style known as grinding:

A turnabout dance is scheduled for next month, and administrators have been working on a solution for inappropriate behavior, most recently witnessed at the homecoming dance in fall. They received complaints about a mosh pit and grinding. A mosh pit is an area where very physical and rough dancing takes place.

Junior Alyssa Barczak said grinding “is the way that we (students) dance. This is not just a Menomonee Falls dance style.”

She described a nonexcessive grinding as a boy standing behind a girl with full body contact. His hands are at her waist and they rock back and forth, she said.

“There is a visual difference with the two styles,” junior Kyle Kiepert said.

“When I’m grinding, I’m not trying to be sexual,” Kyle said. “It is how we dance. I don’t think it is going to change as much as anyone wants it to.”

Adults chimed in, in support of allowing the current style of dancing.

“It is the way kids dance now,” said Felicia Perkins-Peterson, school social worker.

When asked, many parents and administrators still agree that if televised today, Elvis Presley should only be shown from the waist up since they didn’t want to get kids to get any ideas from his hip gyrations.

Seriously, how sexualized can a dance really be? I’ve been in high school (last decade) and the dancing I participated in with the opposite sex was called grinding. It’s what people did. Sorry to break it to the old parents and administrators but no one knows the “hand-jive” or does “the twist” anymore. This is how 17 year olds dance nowadays. If parents get scared about what students doing at a high school sanctioned dance, how do they not have a panic attack every moment their child leaves their house to “just hang out with their friends” or “spend the night at their friends house?”

With a group of about 20 administrators, staff, parents and students, the dancing discussion began with a ban on excessive grinding, but several people asked for a definition of excessive.

Freshman Keaton Shurilla was vocal in his opposition to any type of grinding.

“I can’t think of a situation where a man’s genitals touching someone’s butt … is not sexual,” Keaton said.

He said it is a matter of setting an example to change the current style of dancing.

Of course Keaton would say that… he isn’t allowed to think differently as long as his mom is the School Board President. It must be nice that MFHS can trot out a little shill that will try and convince other students to drink the Kool-aid.

“If we do this right, we could be on the cutting edge,” Hintz said of the new code of conduct.

Administrators plan to train chaperons to look for specific dance moves. The expectation is chaperons first would give misbehaving students a warning, and then kick out the students if the inappropriate behavior continues.

“We are trying to get some of the discretion out of it,” Hintz said. “All this gray area stuff is going to create bigger problems.”

Clearly Principal Hintz has wood over idea that he can keep students from having fun. Hintz will be on the cutting edge of having a school run with more rules than the 3rd Reich. I am of the firm belief that students have rights including the right of freedom of expression. It’s funny that Menomonee Falls hasn’t taken a firm stand on Sexting but dancing is too much!

Regardless if the role of adults on this matter, the horse is already out of the barn. I don’t think it’s chalking things up to being too old or a generation gap, but this issue has been going on since I was attending high school dances, they could have tried to stop it years ago.  But now I find that Menomonee Falls administrators to be archaic, oppressive and overly politically correct. Students deserve the right of freedom of expression. And to ban a dance style that is viewed as in appropriate is ridiculous when there are other more pressing issues that are facing teenagers.

Besides that lets revisit a Mark Belling talking point from 2008, where he spoke about a girl who was sexually harassed by an administrator at the high school. Though I know his name, I have no link to prove it at this moment, I will say that he was not a teacher, and wasn’t fired because of his fundraising ability. Oh and then there was the teacher from 2006 who was caught with a student.  Yep, grinding is a pressing issue at Menomonee Falls High School.

The worst part is that given the lack of school choice options in the state of Wisconsin (thanks WEAC) MFHS students have to bend over and take these Nazi like anti free expression/ Unconstitutional? rules. Maybe one of the parents that takes the side of the students/freedom/the constitution will have enough knowledge of the law to help the students.

To answer a question that was posed to me on this blog (that I will re-share here), emails and by friends “Would I want my son or daughter to participate in these acts?” No I wouldn’t want my daughter to grind, however since she’ll be doing this at a high school dance, there will be teachers around to keep things from going farther south (no pun intended).  I would hope that my daughter would say no if she felt uncomfortable.  And I wouldn’t want my daughter to do drugs, strip, sext, sneak out, go to unsupervised parties, drink, smoke, stay out late with boys, have sex, drive over the speed limit or commit any crimes. However, my parents didn’t want me to do those things either, but I did (some of those things). I got caught, I suffered repercussions and learned from them.

I wouldn’t be able to protect my daughter 24/7 and police her actions so I will have to trust that she’s capable of making a sound decision and is willing to accept the consequences of that action and on the level of worry I would feel when my daughter is at a high school dance, her participating in griding would fall firmly at the bottom.  I would be more worried about her driving there with her friends.

I’ll give $10 for every student that Hintz determines to be dancing too close to someone, considering I’m sure he’ll have to use a ruler to measure how close is too close.

It’s really a brilliant idea though isn’t it? One that shows and amazing lack of foresight on the part of the administration.  Kick some students out of the dance for dancing in a ‘sexual way’ so what? They can just go have sex in the car or at their friend’s house where the parents aren’t home/don’t care. All their friends are at the dance, so they wont get caught. Yeah it’s brilliant and well thought out. At least when they are dancing in view of chaperons and teachers, they can’t get caught having sex.

One of the are JS based blogs is allowing people to weigh in on the issue. This blog has quite an eye catching headline that quotes school board president Kathy Shurilla saying that students will face sexual assault charges if they grind with other students. Applause to the Menomonee Falls School Board for using such scare tactics against their students.

I say the students should give the big middle finger to the administration,enjoy their lives and cut loose.

14 comments

  1. [...] While Mugrack would imply that this headline is mine, rather it is from school board president Kathy Shurilla: [...]


    • noted


  2. Of course it’s sexual. The decision is not Nazi-like. These are children none the less. They have limited rights because they are minors. I would not want any boy grinding on my daughter. She’s not a whore. Congrats to the school.


    • Ya know: Would I want my son or daughter to participate in these acts? No I wouldnt want my daughter to grind, however since she’ll be doing this at a high school dance, there will be teachers around to keep things from going farther south (no pun intended). I would hope that my daughter would say no if she felt uncomfortable.

      And furthermore I wouldnt want my daughter to do drugs, strip, sext, drink, smoke, sneak out, go to unsupervised parties, stay out late with boys, have sex, drive over the speed limit or commit any crimes. However, my parents didn’t want me to do those things either, but I did (some of those things). I got caught, I suffered repercussions and learned from them.

      I wouldn’t be able to protect my daughter 24/7 and police her actions so I will have to trust that she’s capable of making a sound decision and is willing to accept the consequences of that action and on the level of worry I would feel when my daughter is at a high school dance, her participating in griding would fall firmly at the bottom. I would be more worried about her driving there with her friends.


    • Also I’d be more worried about the teachers at menomonee falls high school sexually harassing girls like in 2006 and 2008.


  3. I’m allowed to think whatever I want and what I said is a personal conviction that isn’t stolen from my Mom. Don’t jump to conclusions based on what my Mom thinks. Like I’d put myself in the middle of this crap storm just to make my mom happy.


  4. alright Keaton- maybe you didnt get fed answers from anyone…
    but why’d you get involved in this ‘crap storm’ then?


  5. what happened in 08 with an administrator harassing a girl and not getting fired because of fundraising? name names. I need to know this, dont mention it without some proof


    • I will refrain from naming names seeing as how no charges were ever filed. However my names were correct. Mark belling covered this issue in august of 08


  6. What I don’t think you realize is that this was first motivated by students who wanted a change. As much as the administration was unhappy with it a lot of students weren’t. However they haven’t spoke up much but believe me there is plenty of student opposition. I’m putting myself in this because I want to be able to go to a dance and actually dance without someone trying to come up and touch me – simple as that. Morals, personal convictions, etc.


  7. you need to hop off keaton and reveal your name because the bar tender is a coward!!!!!!!!


  8. @cookie dough I’ll give you mine name, if you stop commenting under a pseudonym, besides you won’t even know me.

    Keaton – I applaud your morals. clearly you’re intelligent enough to know the consequences some actions may result in better than your classmates. Regardless of that fact, the route the administration wanted to take (banning the dancing, canceling dances etc) was in my opinion, an inappropriate action. Furthermore Hintz being quoted as saying “We’d be on the cutting edge” indicates that he’s wanted to do this but now has leverage to do it and if I was a student I’d be offended that he’d want to stifle my freedom and take away my fun. I think high school students get pushed around and lectured by adults way too often, because “Adults know better.” I think student should stand up and fight to dance the way they want to and not be oppressed.

    My belief is that students, even if they are under the age of 18 should be afforded the same constitutional rights that are offered to adults in this case freedom of expression (to dance) and for the administration to want to take away your freedoms, shows a lack of trust and respect. Again I find that hypocritical because so often I remember hearing high school teachers say “You’re young men and women” or “you’re young adults now” but they will refuse to treat you like one. Not being allowed to participate in a dance shows that the administration will never treat you equally and continue to see you as children.


  9. Nice way to associate Hintz with Nazism. So, no for your daughter though you argue it’s her right. Hunh? The way kids have danced has always been contoversial; however, for different reasons. Grinding is just simulating a sex act in public, while pushing the decency envelope and showing off to your friends. Whether your time, present time or any time. Measure distance? Come on. You’re an adult now (presumably). Stop with the childish reasoning/reactionism and stand back and you’ll readily agree this is pushing the limit. If you’re a chaperone at a dance and kids are grinding you won’t stop them? Unless it’s your daughter, right?


  10. Ok look I been to the high school dances now,yes they have changed from the time when I went to the high school from 2000-2003 it was fine,but now the school dances changed alot,now students are trying to get there own dances



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