Dozens of San Diego area high school students have been suspended and banned from prom or commencement because of a twerking video that was filmed on school property and posted on YouTube. The video was created by students in a media class at Scripps Ranch High School and shows teenaged girls twerking while doing handstands. In total, thirty students danced and one student used the school’s video equipment to tape the group.
As a result, all 33 students were suspended from for a week.
Seventeen-year-old Lyston McNear says he was suspended for coming up with the original idea for the video. He says it took months to create and nobody seemed offended.
According to reports, the Scripps Ranch HS student handbook specifically outlines its sexual harassment policy prohibiting “verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature made by someone from or in the educational setting.” Students must sign a page in the handbook that states: “At Scripps Ranch High school there is zero tolerance for students who cause major disruptions at school or school activities. Any student who causes a major disruption will receive a five (5) day suspension, a possible new school placement and may be arrested.”
Seniors may be denied attendance at prom or walking at graduation if they have committed a “zero tolerance infraction” the guide states.
In the words of my grandmother, “that’ll teach them”.
But does the punishment fit?
A few parents actually felt that it was a bit severe.
One parent who spoke with NBC 7 San Diego felt the school was not uniform in handing out punishment.
The mother said the school should have used this as a teaching moment to remind students that when a person is videotaped, he/she never knows where it’s going to go.
Another parent, Mark Silverman, said there was a need for more tolerance.
“I just think it’s not that big of a deal. It was just expression, maybe overly expressive I guess,” Silverman said.