It's called grinding or freak dancing.
Partners rub up against each other in a sexually provocative way.
With Potsdam's homecoming dance just two weeks away, the high school principal is out with a letter to parents about this type of dancing.
Principal Joann Chambers wouldn't do an on-camera interview with us, but she made her feelings very clear in a letter to parents.
(The complete letter is included at the end of this story.)
In the letter, Chambers says she has "come to dread dances" and "the manner in which the kids (most but certainly not all) dance has become extremely inappropriate."
Chambers also says, "I am having a very hard time finding teachers willing to chaperone because they are so uncomfortable with what is going on."
She concludes, "I believe that most, if not all, parents and community members would support me in my decision to address this behavior that is in violation of our student code of conduct."
In fact, the student code of conduct spells out that students could be suspended for lewd and inappropriate behavior.
Chambers' letter also contains a warning about students drinking.
She said she has gotten about 60 notes of support and is talking with students about how to handle the problem.
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The following is the letter from Principal Chambers:
Good Morning - You are receiving this email because you are the parent of one or more students at Potsdam High School.
Yesterday I met with the juniors (I meet with one grade level a week, so I will be having the same conversation with the other classes before the Homecoming Dance, October 13th).
I wanted to let parents know what we talked about because some of the students are a bit disgruntled.
I told the students that I have come to dread school dances, though they are events that should be something everyone looks forward to and enjoys. At each of the last 2 or 3 dances, I have had a student come to the dance under the influence of alcohol. When this happens, the student is subject to significant disciplinary consequences, including a suspension out of school for up to five days (this could be even longer if they have the alcohol in their possession on school property), and a 2-week suspension from athletics or other extra-curricular activities.
I wanted students to understand the ramifications of these poor choices and to stress that they did not need to consume alcohol to have a lot of fun at the dance. I did mention that our district has an Alco-Sensor policy which allows me to ask a student to take the test if I suspect they are under the influence. I did not say that I would subject them all to a breathalyzer test. I only wanted them to be aware of the policy and the fact that I take underage drinking very seriously.
I went on to explain the other reason I have come to dread dances. Though at past dances I have tried to address it by speaking with the most offensive couples, the manner in which the kids (most but certainly not all)dance has become extremely inappropriate. I have teenage children myself, and I don't consider myself terribly conservative, but the lewd dancing has become a real problem. The current trend is for couples to dance with the girl in front of the boy with her back to him. They then "grind" (sorry, there's no other way to say it), her behind into his genitals, often with his hands on her upper thighs.
I am having a very hard time finding teachers willing to chaperone because they are so uncomfortable with what is going on. I have had students report to parents and guidance counselors that they have left the dance early because the raunchy dancing was making them uneasy.
I know some of the kids were upset, and I heard there is some kind of petition circulating, meant to show me how many students plan to not attend the dance. I believe that most, if not all, parents and community members would support me in my decision to address this behavior that is
in violation of our student code of conduct. If students chose to boycott the dance because I am enforcing school rules, that would be a shame. Homecoming is a wonderful event. There is also talk of some students hosting their own event at one student's home. As a parent, I would be concerned if a very large number of students are going to any party off school grounds. It's a tremendous responsibility for any parent to have this many young people on their property unless they had a lot of help with supervision.
If you have any questions about any of this, please feel free to contact me.