GENEVA – Concerns from parents, school employees and students themselves have prompted Geneva High School officials to ban a sexually explicit style of dancing – grinding.
"We have sensed an increasingly inappropriate style of dancing at our recent dances, and we were approached, in addition to our own observations, we were approached by a group of students who expressed to us they were extremely uncomfortable with the style of dancing that was becoming popular," Principal Tom Rogers said.
The school alerted parents and students of the change on Monday, just days before Friday night's Black Light Dance.
In a letter sent to parents, the administration defined grinding as "a sexually explicit, back-to-front style of dancing" in which students press their pelvic region against their partner's backside.
Rogers said grinding became more popular during the 2009-10 year and during the dances last fall. He said there was no reason to delay the ban.
"We felt that now was the time to do that," Rogers said.
Six administrators were to enforce the dancing on Friday, Rogers said. Students were to wear a school-provided wristband during the event. Those seen dancing inappropriately were to have their wristbands removed. Students who continued to grind were to be removed from the dance, according to the letter.
Repeat behavior could lead to students being banned from subsequent dances, according to the letter.
"We caused a stir, if you will, but I think we've done the right thing," Rogers said. "It will take time, but I think it will be a positive change in the long run."
School officials also met with the disc jockey before the dance to eliminate songs from the playlist that would encourage such dancing, Rogers said. He described the music as songs with heavy bass and constant pounding.
Students have asked the administration to consider having live bands at dances. Rogers said he is receptive to that idea.
He also encourages students who disagree with the ban to talk to with him.
"I understand their need to debate," he said.