Suspension of 31 Kids for Twerking Is Upheld by School Board


In a move that would make Principal Belding look competent, a high school in San Diego suspended 31 students for shooting a video where ladies violently shake their asses while dudes crouch next to them and look awkward. Then, a bunch of parents got super upset about it and took it to the school board to twerk it out.

So, after the suspension, parents and students were upset. Very upset. Basically, they were all, “What is this? The school in Footloose?,” and took their complaints to the San Diego Unified School District governing board.

The board members had a private meeting and announced that the state Education Code didn’t allow them to overturn suspensions given out by administrators to students at Scripps Ranch High School. Only the administrators can overturn their decisions, the board said.

Board member Scott Barnett seemed to agree with the parents — calling on the students to apologize, and for the school principal to expunge the suspensions from their records.

He writes addressing what he refers to as the “twerking incident”:

I believe every student who participated in the video showed poor judgment and should be held accountable for their actions. If either of my daughters were involved in and agreed to be filmed in ways I saw on the video, I would ensure there were consequences enacted by me and their mother, and want there to be consequences at school including at the very least a public apology and appropriate punishment such as a lunch detention, writing a paper on actions taken or other relevant consequences.
At the same time I believe the punishment meted out (two-day suspensions for sexual harassment) was overly severe in that it could cause significant damage to a student’s academic future, possibly harming their ability to get into their college of choice.

It sounds like the kids are also banned from prom and won’t be allowed to walk at graduation. The ACLU is involved — penning letters to the school board and administration saying that the suspensions “twist and trivialize” sexual harassment policies.

Some of the parents and students are now saying that the girls in the video had “no clue” where it would end up when they were innocently dancing like nobody was watching. While that may or may not be true, the takeaway lesson here isn’t that you should be careful about how you act because it might be caught on camera. It’s to think about how you act in terms of respecting yourself and your fellow human beings — and if twerking is in line with that, then twerk it like the rent is due (or just for fun; whatevs!).

And that’s where the school really dropped the ball on this one. This could’ve been such a great teaching moment for all the students. By leveling a blanket punishment like suspension, the school not only missed an opportunity to teach these kids real world lessons, but they also lost the respect of many students and teachers. It’s indicative of how out-of-touch many school administrations are with what it’s like to be a teenager, and their (often times) complete inability to speak to students.

The end result here is the kids learned nothing, the parents are pissed off, lots of people are laughing at the school, and we now have yet another terrible example of twerking making its way around the internet.

[Los Angeles Times]

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