The uproar that greeted Middletown High School's decision Friday night to end the Homecoming Dance early has prompted wide discussion about the alleged cause of the trouble – grinding – and how best to manage high school dances.
According to Middletown Patch's story about the incident, students were upset at the no-grinding policy and began to protest, prompting school officials to end the dance more than an hour early. Grinding, according to Wikipedia, is "where two or more dancers rub or bump their bodies against each other," especially crotch to buttocks.
East Greenwich High School's Homecoming Dance took place Sept. 28 and pep rally the day before had its own controversy (with at least two students diciplined for throwing batteries at the freshman class and hitting one student in the head), but their system for dealing with students dancing provocatively or too close together appears to have worked.
According to Vice Principal Tim Chace, the high school doesn't have a written policy (as Middletown HS had just implemented), but he said, "We do have expectations that students will act appropriately at school-sponsored functions," including dances.
"The way that we handled it at Homecoming was that each student who enters the dance is issued a wristband that they must wear," Chace explained. "If a chaperone has to speak to them about dancing or acting inappropriately the wristband is 'lined out' with a permanent marker. Any subsequent actions requiring a chaperone intervening with that student will result in
that student being sent home with a parent."
Chase said the bracelets were first used last year. This year, he said, "I am not sure how many were spoken to, I lined out a few, but no one was sent home for grinding, etc."
One senior interviewed expressed his frustration at what he and others see as an over-reaction on the part of adults when it comes to kids and dancing.
"It's tough. A lot of people don't see where the adults are coming from," he said. "It's not as bad or rampant as people make it out to be."
Still, the senior said the administration's handling of the dance was appropriate. "They let us have fun."