Freak dancing rules
In my story today about freak dancing, I explore the latest dancing guidelines established at Centennial High School, which were crafted in response to a back-to-school dance that got out of control.
My colleagues Nicole Fuller, Arin Gencer, David Kohn and Sara Neufeld were able to give me the policies that each of the school systems they cover follows:
In Baltimore City, school system spokeswoman Edie House wrote in an e-mail to us that since school dances are school-sponsored events, "student attendees are expected to act appropriately as outlined in the Baltimore City Public Schools 2008-09 Code of Conduct. Although there is no specific language pertaining to inappropriate dancing ('freak dancing') in our City Schools Code of Conduct, school administrators may utilize several consequences contained within the code for students who are conducting themselves inappropriately."
In Baltimore County, dancing is regulated by school administrators. “It’s a school by school decision,” said spokesman Charles Herdon. “We give discretion to administrators to determine what is appropriate.”
In Harford County, inappropriate dancing is considered disruptive behavior. "We do not have a specific policy that addresses dancing specifically,” said spokeswoman Teri D. Kranefeld. “However, if the dancing becomes disruptive, the administrator will approach the students and ask them to cease. Disruptive behavior, whether it be dancing or any other act, is addressed by the school-based administration. "
In Anne Arundel County, school officials have in recent years encountered instances of inappropriate dancing or "freak dancing" at high school dances, but they have not instituted any new policies or rules system-wide to deal with the issue, according to spokesman Bob Mosier, who said the problem is not widespread. He cited one instance at Severna Park High School in January, when a school dance was shut down early due to inappropriate behavior, as the worst of the problem. He said the student handbook makes clear such behavior would constitute "inappropriate bodily conduct," and said school administrators have dealt with the issue on a case-by-case basis and have, when deemed appropriate, taken disciplinary measures. "Any dance is a school sponsored activity, and as such, student behavior has to fall within the paraments of the code of student conduct, which spells out, what is permitted and what is not permitted," Mosier said. "Chaperones and staff members are at dances and certainly have authority to ask students to refrain from behaviors that don't fall within that code."
According to the Howard County policy for dancing, all students must: wear clothing that meets the county dress code; keep both feet on the floor at all times; maintain an upright, vertical position; and avoid any dancing that suggests a sexual act.
Have you attended a high school dance recently? I have. It's an eye-opening experience.