Another brick in my old man wall


courtesy "Married to the Sea"


I know I’m late to the party on this, but it’s too good to pass up…

I’m sure Eric Ramsey dreamed of the day he’d become a high school principal. He probably imagined the way the building would look, the relationships he’d form with his teachers and all of the children’s lives he’d shape and transform. He probably never imagined telling the local newspaper

“They can stand in the grind positions, they can stand with their partner behind them but they can’t break any of the rules.”

But there was the Parkview High School principal in the Springfield News-Leader Sept. 29, explaining that to reporter Claudette Riley in an article detailing the “mixed” reaction to Springfield Public Schools’ new rules for dances. These rules fall under the category of “What, you have to tell kids that?!?!?!?!?” For instance, students can’t simulate sex acts or thrust. Nor can they “run their hands under their partner’s clothing or touch breasts, buttocks or genital areas.”

Ohmygosh, I gotta sit down for a second. Kids were doing that? In a high school dance? This is making me feel like an old man.

Or at least it did, until I remembered what dances were like the last time I was a high school student before the turn of the century. And now that I think about it, I think I saw several of those things at my high school dances. Not everyone was doing it, of course, and the ones doing it without fail were the last people you would want to see copping a feel on the dance floor. Ugh.

The “mixed reaction” to the rules, unlike what KSGF’ Nick Reed said on his radio show, wasn’t because people didn’t like the restrictions. The problem was with enforcement. Some students felt like they didn’t get enough of a warning. That’s totally fair. Kids aren’t stupid. Most of them will stay within the rules as long as they understand them and the process of enforcement. Staff at Parkview – which ejected 15 dancers – met with students to discuss concerns and address ways to make the next dance better for everyone. Basically, the system worked the way it should.

Not to be gross, but groping and grinding has become a part of the process of sexual exploration that a lot of teenagers go through. It’s pretty normal, and despite what they may think, they’re not the first generation to go through this. And while those activities may be more acceptable on the homecoming dance floor now than when they were when I was a teenager, they’re still gross and administrators still have a responsibility to tell those kids to knock it off.

There’s another responsible party involved here, the parents and guardians of the students. My oldest will be a high schooler in just five years, and I have a big say in whether or not she’ll be one of the 15 ejected from her high school dance (over my dead body) or if she’s like well-spoken PHS senior Tiffany Moyers.

“It’s really sad that the rules have to be that specific, like we’re in elementary school,” she told the News-Leader. “We ought to know how to act.”

Oh Lawd, let me raise a daughter like that.