No freaking policy not working

May 6, 2014 — by Gwynevere Hunger and Oksana Trifonova
School dances have always been a symbol of school spirit, a time when all social groups come together, united under the pride of being a Falcon. And with more dances and more attendance comes more unity and school pride. However, during the beginning of this year, the administration decided to ban freaking, a sort of dancing that consists of two people grinding against each other, with both looking in one direction so that interaction is not face-to-face. The administration has not approved of this way of dancing for many years and finally required students to dance “face to face” in the beginning of the school year.

School dances have always been a symbol of school spirit, a time when all social groups come together, united under the pride of being a Falcon. And with more dances and more attendance comes more unity and school pride.

However, during the beginning of this year, the administration decided to ban freaking, a sort of dancing that consists of two people grinding against each other, with both looking in one direction so that interaction is not face-to-face. The administration has not approved of this way of dancing for many years and finally required students to dance “face to face” in the beginning of the school year.

Although the administration does have a plausible reason for banning it at school dances because of its “sexual nature,” the policy doesn’t change anything about the trend or the students’ behavior; instead, it simply ensures extremely low attendance at many dances, which culminated with the cancellation of the Sadie Hawkins dance in March when few students actually bought tickets.

For all its good intentions, the new policy has had mostly negative results. Instead of more students feeling comfortable at school dances, fewer show up in order to avoid uncomfortable situations where they will inevitably just stand there listening to loud music, because, first of all, the music is too loud for talking, and second, they’re not used to other dance styles. (In fact, it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea for the school to offer dance lessons in other styles.)

Another way the new policy failed was that it was too top down. Student leaders were not involved in the process, and students didn’t buy into the change. In the future, the ASB and Leadership class could be put in charge of promoting and embracing a new dance culture. If student leaders are sold on the necessity of the face-to-face policy, they would do a better job of promoting it than the administration ever could.

The reality of this situation is that no matter what, the school isn’t going to allow freaking again. It’s up to students to decide whether they want to have dances. If they can embrace dance styles, they can have dances. If not,dances will cease to exist in their current form. “If students keep boycotting the dances, the administration will just have to cancel them,” said assistant principal Kerry Mohnike. She also offers a solution to the entertainment dilemma. “Dances are not an activity that most of the student population attends. An interesting challenge for the ASB is to come up with a new event which would be attended by more people,” similar to the Activity Nights at Redwood with movies, video games, and ping-pong.

Dances are a direct correlation to school spirit and school culture. Student attendance at dances promotes excitement and attention for school spirit within students. They will be excited for the dance at the end of the week, and are more likely to dress up for the following spirit days leading up to it.

As interest in school dances decreases, so does the school spirit. Students no longer have activities hosted by the school to look forward to, and will turn to other forms of entertainment. The students themselves are the ones who will vote with their feet whether they want to participate in the new world of dances or not. While most of us agree that the dance policy isn’t ideal, we’re still better off trying to salvage dances than letting the tradition die and eroding school spirit even more.

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