MARSHFIELD, Wis.—The head coach of the Marshfield High School dance team has been dismissed after the team performed to an edited version of Robin Thicke’s popular but racy hit “Blurred Lines” at the first home football game.
Former coach Lisa Jolin told News-Herald Media ( http://mnhne.ws/16Un8Qk) that she didn’t hear any complaints immediately after the performance, and she believes calls made later to Superintendent Peg Geegan cost her the job.
“How many people were upset? I don’t know because (the district) won’t tell me,” Jolin said. “I think if three to five people called, they should have backed me up. I think if it was 250 people, then yeah, they had to fire me.”
The summer hit topped the Billboard 100 charts for 14 weeks and holds the record for the most times a song has been played on radio in a single week. But critics say its sexually suggestive lyrics perpetuate misogynistic attitudes toward women.
Geegan declined to comment on Jolin’s firing other than in a brief email to the newspaper.
“Action was taken to remove Ms. Jolin from the assignment as high school dance coach based on appropriate reasons and following district protocols,” Geegan wrote. “Personnel matters are confidential, so further information will not be forthcoming from the district.”
Parents and students said they were concerned the dance team might disband without Jolin, who brought it a measure of respectability. Two of the seven members have already quit.
“Before Lisa came, the team was held together by the parents. It was disorganized, and none of the girls in the school were interested in the team,” said Leah Hennick, a sophomore and dance team captain. “It was a bit of a social pariah to join the dance team at that point.”
Hennick’s mother, Kathy Hennick, said she was not bothered by the song, nor were any parents she knew.
“I didn’t see it as so egregious because she edited the music,” Kathy Hennick said. “I think there are a lot worse things going on.”