Washington schools have teens sign contract to decrease lewd prom dancing

24 Oct

Tina Patel of Q13 Fox News reported in the story, Students must sign dance contract: No twerking, no ‘sex’ dancing:

LACEY, Wash. — Students and their parents had to sign contracts before they could go to homecoming dances at River Ridge and North Thurston high schools in Lacey.
When Miley Cyrus took the stage at the Video Music Awards a couple months ago, some parents were shocked by her ‘twerking.’
“It is kind of surprising that that would be considered normal dancing,” Julie Evans, the mother of a 16-year-old girl, said Wednesday.
But officials with North Thurston Public Schools know times have changed, and students are used to seeing things like this on a dance floor.
“It’s that YouTube generation,” said Courtney Schrieve, a spokeswoman for North Thurston Public Schools. “They have a lot more exposure to a lot of different things, so we have to constantly stay on top of that.”
A few years ago, school officials heard about another district canceling homecoming because of inappropriate dancing.
“Some of our activities directors at the high school got together and said, ‘Let’s nip this in the bud, get ahead of this,’” said Schrieve.
They came up with a dance contract. At River Ridge High School in Lacey, students may not bend over 45 degrees or more while dancing. The contract also states there cannot be “lap dancing” or dancing that “looks like you’re having sex.”
“Some of the things are things that you wouldn’t think should have to be in writing,” Evans said.
In the spring, Port Townsend and Port Angeles schools instituted a ‘Face to Face’ dance policy to try and cut down on ‘grinding.’ Students responded by boycotting the dances altogether.
But the students in Lacey say they don’t mind signing a contract.
“No, I was OK with it,” said River Ridge freshman Angel Allen. “I understood why and stuff.”
“It’s just one of those things, like how you have to get a permission slip to watch a movie in class,” added senior Joely Manning.
They said the contract makes parents feel better. But they said that if parents came to the dances, they would see there’s no reason to worry.
“We have teachers,” Manning said. “And you’re in your high school. You’re not going to be pulling a Miley Cyrus out there.”

Letty Maldando echoes the advise to keep in touch with your teen in herehow article, How to Plan a Safe Prom Night for Your Teen:

Step 1
Prepare a complete itinerary of the prom night events. Include:
*Prom pre-party, party, and post party location information
*Phone numbers – friends, locales, limo driver, prom chaperones, etc…
*Transportation alternatives
*List of people they’ll be with – include phone numbers and parent info
Make sure that both you and your teen have a copy of the itinerary so that you can reach other in an emergency.
Step 2
Discuss prom night safety issues well in advance. This should not be something that parents should be shouting atteens as they are leaving. Prepare what information you want to share. Bring notes if you think you might trip up on your words. Don’t be shy about the topics (alcohol, drugs, sex). If need be, pull out some news stories and pictures of the consequences of unsafe behavior. Sometimes visual aids are more memorable than a lecture.
Step 3
Agree on an “unconditional” call for your help and/or a ride home if something should happen. If you are worried that your child won’t call you (even with this agreement) then assign a trusted relative, friend, or neighbor that will take the phone call and help them out of whatever the situation may be.
Step 4
Hire a driver to ensure that your teen has reliable transportation. If this is not financially feasible then make sure that you know the person who will be driving on prom night. Meet your teen’s friends and don’t be afraid to have the “no drinking and driving” conversation with them as well.
Step 5
Set up a check in time for each part of the evening. If they are going to be hopping around to several locations make sure to receive a call from them as they arrive at each place. If your teen doesn’t want to call in or misses a check in then set up a text message that they can respond to with a code word that indicates that they’re doing well. It’s best to speak to them directly but a text message is the next best thing.

According to Maldando and the Partnership for a Drug Free America,parents should communicate both before and during the prom. They should know what their children’s plans for are for the evening.

To many observers, many forms of freak or dirty dancing are really simulations of sex acts. A lot of issues arise such as setting boundaries for teen sexual behavior, peer pressure to engage in inappropriate behavior or dress and the general question of is this really good for teens?

What is Freak or Dirty Dancing?

Love to Know: Party defines freak dancing:

Freak or dirty dancing is sexually suggestive dancing and the question is whether it is appropriate for teens in middle or high school? http://party.lovetoknow.com/How_to_Freak_Dance

What are Sexual Boundaries?

Women’s Health Center has an excellent definition of boundaries http://www.wrcnrv.org/helpingYou/ft_boundaries.shtml

A boundary is your personal physical, emotional and sexual comfort zone. We all have a gut feeling that lets us know when our boundaries are being broken.

Below are examples of how boundaries can be broken:

Interrupting a conversation

Taking someone’s possessions without her or his permission

Teasing or making fun of someone

Asking very personal questions

Telling other people stories about someone

Making someone uncomfortable by always being around or invading their private space
Saying or doing things that others find offensive or vulgar
Forcing someone into doing something sexual
Physically assaulting someone
Using inappropriate language or touching

Using violence in any way
Healthy Place says the setting boundaries are important to minimize sexual assault http://www.healthyplace.com/relationships/teen-relationships/preventing-sexual-assault-be-clear-about-your-sexual-boundaries/

Teens must understand that communication is not only verbal, but physical as well. What they are communicating with body language or apparel may or may not be what they intend to communicate.

How to Talk to Your Teen About Sexual Boundaries

Stop It Now MN has some excellent guidelines about talking to kids about sexual boundaries. http://www.stopitnow.org/mn

Things have sure changed from back in the day.


Prom Night Perils

Keeping Teens Safe and Sober on Prom Night

Prom Lessons Learned the Easy Way


How to have a sane prom

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

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