A mom sent me a note about students being suspended for creating versions of the “Harlem Shake.” She thought it would be a cute video for her son’s senior class but now she’s concerned that they might be suspended. Here’s more:
“Personally I think it’s a riot and told my son, who is a senior, that he ought to get the senior class to film one. But then I started hearing about kids getting suspended for it. Some schools think it’s too [sexually] suggestive. But I’ve seen all kinds of groups post their version (including Scout Troops and our local Chick-Fil-A staff!) so I do believe it can be done in a non-suggestive manner.”
“I think some of the suspensions came as a result of lying about the use of school property and disrupting class. But if it’s done in a tasteful manner and outside of school hours, is it really that bad? Since it’s an international phenom right now, I think it would fun for his Senior Class to do their own video but since he goes to a pretty strict Christian school, I’m worried the school wouldn’t think to highly of it. I have considered emailing the principle and seeing what the administration thinks. The senior class has done a flash mob dance of Gangnam Style in the hallways so I don’t think they’re totally opposed to fun but sometimes they surprise me with what gets them bent out of shape.”
“According to the National Coalition against Censorship, about 100 students across the country have been suspended for making and posting their own version of the viral video on the Web. School districts have offered a variety of reasons for the suspensions, said NCAC Director Joan Bertin, with most saying that the videos, which feature suggestive dancing, are inappropriate. However, Bertin said, she believes that regardless of how the videos could be interpreted, decisions to suspend students and keep them out of class cross the line. The NCAC has compared the schools’ actions to the plot of the 1984 film “Footloose,” in which a town outlaws dancing and rock music.”
“The FAA is trying to determine if some students violated any rules when they performed a popular dance during a flight from Colorado Springs to San Diego. Members of the Colorado College Ultimate team did the “Harlem Shake” in the aisles. “It seems a rather disproportionate response by educators to something that, at most, I would characterize as teenage hijinks,” Bertin said.”
“All technology shifts that give individuals a larger audience — from the printing press on, Bertin said — tend to make authority figures uncomfortable. More student censorship issues have emerged as young people gain more access to outlets for expression, such as the ability to post videos to YouTube, publish their thoughts on personal blogs and spread ideas through social media such as Facebook.”
Here are some versions to check out:
Would you let your child participate in a school version of the dance? Do you think its worth suspensions? Can it be done in a fun, non-offensive manner?