Gorham, Maine is a quiet town. A stone’s throw from Maine’s largest town, Portland, it is the home of the University of Southern Maine. It’s also the home of Bob Crowley, the winner of Survivor: Gabon. Crowley used to teach physics at Gorham High School. You know what else was recently retired from Gorham High School?
And you have stuff like this to thank:
Grinding, twerking, and other sexually suggestive dance moves have taken over the high school dances at Gorham High School and, as a result, school principal Chris Record has cancelled all school dances for the 2015-16 school year. Well, except for prom. You can’t cancel prom. The kids dress up for prom. They respect prom. The other dances, though? Enjoy the bonfire and game night instead.
Record recently posted a letter on the school’s website in which he explained his decision and the nature of this troubling epidemic.
Before my arrival in 2008 and since, GHS administration, dance chaperones, some students, and some parents have struggled with the modern dance culture. It is by no means the students’ fault, but the dancing they have witnessed on MTV/VHS/movies involves primarily only sexually suggestive grinding. Grinding basically involves a girl having her back and buttocks pushed up/pulled up against the boy’s groin with the boy’s hands on her hips and other places. There is a spectrum of this dancing that includes some space between the partners to absolutely no space and even the girl bending over in front of the boy.
Now I’m assuming he’s referring to VH1, and not VHS. People don’t even watch DVDs anymore, let alone VHS tapes. Although blaming VH1 is just as confusing, because I’m pretty sure Record’s students aren’t picking up dance moves from reruns of Behind the Music, though I could be wrong. Regardless, Record is concerned that grinding is not only creating a spectacle at the school’s dances, but causing issues for younger students. According to Record, “younger students have complained about being forced/manipulated/encouraged to participate in grinding” and that “parents have complained about how their children have been harassed at dances and/or exposed to conduct that they believe should not occur at school.”
Gorham High School attempted to pull the plug on grinding last year at their Homecoming Dance. Yet when the students were reminded of the No Grinding policy, things took an unfortunate turn: roughly two-thirds of the students at the dance promptly walked out. Later that week a local radio station in Portland invited the students in to explain what happened. In his letter, Record essentially accuses the station of using the incident to drive up ratings, as well as creating a hostile environment between students and the administration by giving the students a forum to air their grievances and creating a biased view of the situation.
In his letter, Record cites a few reasons for canceling dances, the first based on the belief that “US dance culture has moved beyond what a high school can condone or control effectively.”
Yes, because this has never happened before.
And kids, overly impressionable and susceptible to the dangers of rock ‘n’ roll and its dangerous trappings in their formative years, have never been privy to such evil influences before.
You really have to nip this stuff in the bud. You don’t want it to spread.
Because it really is scary that these dance moves have just recently emerged and have caught school officials completely off guard.
Thankfully, ain’t no grinding at a bonfire.
(Via Bangor Daily News)