BENNINGTON, Vt. — Twerking is to blame for the cancellation of a Bennington high school’s homecoming dance.
Last spring, the dean of students at Mount Anthony Union High School said he asked students to come up with a plan to make dancing more appropriate, but when students hadn’t reached a plan, the school decided to cancel the homecoming dance this month.
Dean of Students David Beriau said twerking is not appropriate at the school dances, even when students do it in their own space and not on or near others.
Beriau said a few girls said they were uncomfortable when boys twerked and grinded on them without their consent.
“They would just come behind them and start doing the grinding or twerking so when I got wind of that I thought this is getting too an uncomfortable area, and I could just picture someone saying, ‘Listen, my kid went to the dance and this is what they experienced,’” he said. “And we’re talking about 8th graders coming in as 9th graders. That’s what they’re going to see. I don’t think so.”
A winter dance at the school has also been cancelled.
Beriau said he will meet with students next week to see if changes can be made to resume dances in the future.
“The suggestion the kids made about the kind of music, you know, to talk with the disc jockey and say not to play the hip hop music,” he said.
But Mount Anthony senior Seth Tatro said changing the type of music won’t stop the dancing that he said makes him uncomfortable, too.
“They were playing all different kinds of songs, and they were still doing it,” he said. “A few people still did it even on a slow song, and that’s kind of sad.”
Tatro agreed twerking is inappropriate at school dances, but he doesn’t think cancelling homecoming and the upcoming winter dance is fair.
“Pull them aside, get their names and kick them out for other dances and not have us get kicked out, and the ones that weren’t doing it punished,” he suggested.
Parents agreed with the decision to cancel the dances stating moral education is important at school, too.