Tired of students’ provocative dancing, the teachers at Cleveland High School took a stand: They refused to chaperone the winter formal.
Now the January dance is off, making the Southeast Portland high school the first in the district to cancel an event this school year because of inappropriate student behavior.
The problem is a style of dance, popular across the country, called grinding. The girls back up to the boys and … well, you get the picture. It’s hardly limited to Cleveland, but other metro-area schools have managed to crack down enough that chaperones are still signing up.
Not so at Cleveland.
“We tried changing the music,” said Vice Principal Pam Joyner, who moved to Cleveland from Northeast Portland’s Grant High School, where administrators faced the same issue. “One year we sold T-shirts that said ‘No bumping, no grinding’ to promote clean dancing. We had chaperones use flashlights to shine on couples dancing inappropriately. I even spoke at one of the dances. We stopped a dance to clean it up.”