Thirty-three students have been banned from prom and graduation for a twerking video. Officials at Scripps Ranch High School suspended the students after the twerking video was discovered on YouTube.
The 33 students who were suspended are banned from attending the prom, sporting events, and the graduation ceremony.
Twerking, as defined by Wikipedia, is a “dance move that involves a person shaking their hips and bottom in a bouncy up and down motion, causing it to shake, ‘wobble’ and ‘jiggle’.”
As reported by NBC San Diego, the video was produced by students in the school’s media class. School officials contend that a student used property belonging to the school to film and edit the video during school hours and on school grounds.
San Diego Unified School District spokesperson, Jack Brandais, would not discuss the incident as it is against policy to disclose information about disciplinary matters.
The 33 students, banned from prom and graduation for the twerking video, may have violated the school’s dancing or sexual harassment policy.
A section titled “Dance Behavior,” prohibits “dance moves that may be considered sexually provocative or simulate sexual activity.” The section that addresses sexual harassment bans “visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature made by someone from or in the educational setting.”
If the twerking video is considered one of these offenses, under the school’s “zero tolerance” policy, exclusion from the prom and graduation ceremony would be included as punishment.
Several of the senior students will be appealing the disciplinary action.
As reported by ABC News, the video was the creation of seventeen-year-old Lyston McNear. The teen states that he spent a lot of time coming up with the concept and eventually creating the film.
Many students, along with several parents, have expressed that banning students from the prom and graduation ceremony over the twerking video is simply too harsh. As parent Chris Benzi points out, “They’ve waited four years to go to prom, to walk at graduation and now because of a fun video, it’s being taken away from them.”