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Principal: No ‘grinding’ at school dances

Officials increase security, change music.

Brian McFeeley, principal at Mt. Lebanon High School in Pittsburgh, Pa., has declared a no “grinding” policy when it comes to school dances.

In a letter to parents, McFeeley described “grinding” as a style of dancing that “generally includes a male student rubbing up behind a female partner while both make a gyrating motion from side to side.”

Photo: John Lund/Annabelle Breakey/Getty Images"It's just not appropriate," McFeeley is quoted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "It would be behavior we wouldn't condone in the hallways and at other events."

Officials told the Post-Gazette the ban is just one step the district is taking toward making the school safer. There have been issues with student drug and alcohol use at the last several school dances. One female student was even taken to the hospital for treatment of alcohol poisoning.

In a letter to Gawker, a Mt. Lebanon student lambasted the new policy.

“[…] I, like nearly the entire student body, feel that the banning on the style of dance that does not hurt anyone is quite absurd and think the administration should be focusing more on the small group of students that consistently shows up to dances completely trashed, which can potentially endanger many people's lives.”

Other measures taken to improve behavior at school dances include “adding slow songs to the playlist, changing the DJ, increasing the number of chaperones and hiring at least two police officers to work every dance.”

Tell us what you think: Has the principal gone too far?

Bing: Read more about this story

Photo: John Lund/Annabelle Breakey/Getty Images

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Oct 27, 2012 4:35PM



That name tells us all about you, lol.

Oct 27, 2012 2:02AM

So now we are expecting these young adults to act like adults when we still treat them like children? Not a huge fan of grinding anyways, but isnt this a dance for the students? Shouldnt they be able to make their own life decisions and learn from their mistakes? Obviously preventing the illegal activities such as under age drinking and the use of narcotics is less important than instilling these "good" morals? Sounds to me like we are slowly creeping towards turning our public schools into public prisons.

Oct 27, 2012 12:14AM

If the principal is focusing on changing the dancing, changing the music, and adding more adults to the equation, the school might as well get rid of student dances and let the adults decide how they feel the kids can act. The adults start screaming sexual assault when they see someone touching their kids butt, and then the administration and the parents decide that it would be the best solution to completely take over the situation. What happened to kids want to be kids? The reality is that all of these adults were doing a lot worse things when they were minors. The administration needs to focus on the drinking problem, rather than ruining dances for the whole student body. Dancing is not, and never has been illegal. If the Principal is really more worried about the way kids dance than the kids who are falling over wasted, they don't have their priorities straight. Also, dances are the sole source of income for the student council of the school, and not allowing kids to dance is definitely going to impact the people trying to take leadership in the school. Work with these kids to find a solution. If all you say to the students is no, no, no, they will definitely just plan their own dance elsewhere. And then the problem definitely won't be addressed.

Oct 26, 2012 11:32PM

The original "Grind" was back in the "Doowop" era. There would be a guy and gal facing  each other getting as close as you could possibly get and grinding. The dance you  see above is done to a song called "WalkingThe Dog" , no explanation is needed. That was not done in the "DooWop" era. We used to go to house parties and the "Grind" was THE dance. The music was always a slow song by groups like the Five Satins, the Harptones, the Moonglows, the Penguins, Little Anthony and the Imperials, etc. Oh yeah, I remember it well. We girls were fine but I really felt sorry for the guys. No explanation needed. For faster dancing there was Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers, Jackie Wilson, Big Maybelle (You Ain't Nothing But A Hounddog), James Brown, and so many, many more. I have wonderful memories of the good times we all had. It will never happen again. Too bad.

Oct 26, 2012 11:27PM
I feel that this principle has the right idea to make sure that his students at Mt. Lebanon High School are acting appropriately, respectfully, courteously, responsibly towards each other, especially requiring these young boys to respect the young girls at the dances in the way that they act towards them.  The dirty dancing styles with the gyrations, booty call moves, and grinding is not the appropriate style of dancing at high school dances, and that should be eliminated from the dancing culture.  Regular rock and roll dancing is fine as long as the dances do not have the sexual connotations that the dirty dancing styles have now.  Brian McFeeley, principle of Mt. Lebanon High School, keep it up!  You make sure that your students learn how to respect each other while in school and at the school dances.  You are one of those rare school principles that is standing up against the accepted culture of these style of dances and trying to steer your students into a more responsible way of dancing behavior, as well as responsible behavior while in school, and have the guts to pull it off!  Chari Mercier, St. Pete, FL   :)
Oct 26, 2012 11:06PM

they aren't screwing, making babies, doing drugs or fighting.... let them alone.

Oct 26, 2012 10:45PM
I saw a movie like this once......
Oct 26, 2012 10:42PM
Ok, I just have to ask all the teens this:  Have you seen Titanic and actually watched the 3rd Class "party"?  Rose tells Jack that she doesn't know this dance.  Jack replies: "Neither do I, just go with it".  Then they do what can be deemed a fast waltz.

Oh, and at my senior homecoming dance, a group of us went stag.  My best friend has some issues, and being by her side was much more important to me.  Her "boyfriend" at the time came up to me (a guy) and asked me to tell her that he didn't want to continue.  What'd I do?  I told the guy, you need to tell her yourself, but I'll get her over her.  And that's what I did.  After that, I spend the night by her side.  Aah, memories lol!
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