(Emailed letter to the students of CHS by Mr. Mack)
To the students of CHS,
At our most recent high school dance co-sponsored by the CHS Student Council and FBLA, I attempted a compromise to the ‘grinding’ style of dancing to address requests by parents and patrons. This compromise I suggested was agreed upon to the officers and sponsors prior to the dance and it was announced at the door for student agreement before paying to enter. The compromise for the front-to-back dancing style was to have couples stand straight and not have the front person pressing buttocks back into the other.
(For those students that weren’t there) During the second hour of the dance, a couple songs required staff to walk in to remind couples of appropriate dancing, a few songs later I paused the music and reminded the dancers of what we agreed upon at the door before they paid to enter. I told students how I hoped they would all stay and enjoy the night by dancing in an appropriate and agreed upon manner. However, half of the students present chose to leave the dance. The dance continued until midnight without any incidents or concerns.
I want the student body to know that I appreciate the respect you showed whether you left or stayed. I had many students express their understanding of the situation before leaving and many students thank me and the sponsors at the end of the night for our efforts.
I do however, ...feel bad. I know this change came suddenly due to recent concerns and that it hasn’t always been addressed so strictly in the past. For those of you that disagree with my decision, your reasons for wanting to keep this style have been my reasoning for allowing it to stay. We have had some issues with it in the past and addressed them individually, but it is difficult for chaperones to constantly decide when front-to-back dancing is acceptable versus when it is not acceptable due to sexually suggestive actions which are neither acceptable for a school function nor age appropriate.
I know, as many of you do, that we are one of the last schools in the area to address this style of dancing. This shows that even though we have had some issues, overall, our students have been respectful and our staff have made many attempts to accommodate. Last night was an example, the students that chose to leave did so with respect while the sponsors and I attempted to compromise a reasonable request by parents.
I will continue to honor the request to address this style of dancing. However, since the compromise did not work, we will ban front-to-back dancing at Chadron High School. I realize all of our dances are voluntary, however, I do hope you will continue to attend and express yourselves in a school acceptable and age appropriate manner.