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'Footloose' IRL? School Cancels Homecoming Over Grinding

The Short of It

Administrators at Gorham High School in Maine recently axed all dances except for prom—all because kids there would rather grind and twerk than box step or merengue.

The Lowdown

Apparently, this isn't the first time school brass have tried to tamp down provocative dancing. Last year, vigilant chaperones clamped down on grinding during Homecoming dances, and nearly half of the students walked out in protest. In response, the student council and the principal, Chris Record, canceled the rest of the dances scheduled for last year and this year. The lone exception, prom, is still on because it's a formal event and the students tend to be on their best behavior.

Record places blame not on his students but on the way people boogie these days. Still, the kids are none too happy about his decision. A bonfire is replacing the year's first dance, and the buzz on campus is that it'll be "lame" and no one will go.

Though the controversial move would make him a shoo-in for a Footloose sequel, Record insists he just has his students' interest at heart. Plus, he points out, "It's not a Gorham issue. It's a Maine issue, it's a national issue. I'm not trying to lead the way, I'm just trying to make good decisions for the school community."

The Upshot

Ah, a battle as old as time. Or at least since I was in high school. Back then, teachers were wringing their hands over us dirty dancing (the movie was all the rage), although we couldn't understand why they cared if we wiggled a little too close to each other. Now that I'm a parent, of course, I can see what the fuss is all about. While I think it's a bit of a reach to nix a dance because of provocative dancing—the bigger concern is what happens when kids are away from school grounds—I can certainly appreciate the statement Principal Record is trying to make.

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