Administrators at Brighton High School said they’re trying to stop a style of dancing they consider obscene on school grounds and recently canceled a popular winter event to make their point.
The school’s Winterfest dance had been scheduled for Feb. 6, but with concerns that students would engage in “freaking,” the school required anyone interested in attending the dance to sign a contract beforehand.
Principal Ken Hamman said the pledge contract was meant to curb students from engaging in sexually suggestive movements on the dance floor.
Hamman said they came up with the idea after seeing unacceptable dancing at October’s Homecoming dance.
Students protested the contract and ticket sales for the dance plummeted.
Hamman said more than 1,500 students were expected to attend the dance, but that only 67 students signed the contract.
“I don’t think it is (sexually suggestive). I think it’s just dancing,” said senior Phil Laquinto.
“If I had started dancing that way, then I would have been punished,” added senior Mark Bellinger. “But that’s what everybody does, dance that way.”
“If you open the door for that, what else comes after?” said Lois Lenaghan, whose grandchild attends the high school. “It’s like opening a can of worms.”
Area floral businesses said the dance cancellation has affected them.
Corsages were ordered without prepayment.
“We were all, all four florists in town, stuck with product,” said Bonnie Sanberg of Four Seasons Florist.
Hamman said the school is worried about the same conflict arising for prom, which is scheduled in May, but is working with student government to come up with a new document.