This week, teachers at my school were given a copy of the adjustments made to our school dance policies. The type of dancing that has taken place at recent dances prompted action by the administration. This is yet anothe top-down directive that involved few teachers and fewer students. The thought is that if the "dirty dancing" doesn't stop, the school will cancel dances.
In the past, chaperones have been asked to put a stop to dancing that is more in line with rap videos than high school social gatherings. As the dancing trend grew in popularity, the number of teachers comfortable chaperoning dances has diminished. It is quite awkward to approach two teenagers engaged in grinding on each other and ask them to separate--only to have to do it again a few songs later.
Now, the new rules require that chaperones take the approach found in The Scarlett Letter. When two students are asked to end their grinding session, chaperones are expected to mark the back of the students' hand, a sign of their "dirty dancing." This way, if they are caught again, they are asked to leave the dance. In addition to the hand mark, students' names will be placed in a data base of offenders.
I don't mind chaperoning dances. These events give our students a safe place to enjoy themselves. But with all of this effort to stop them from dancing inappropriately, maybe we ought to get out of the school dance business altogther.