Sue Maguire, a high school principal from Vermont, has instituted a twerking takedown, calling off a scheduled school dance because the principal goes berserk when her students twerk. No sexually charged bump’n and grinding under my watch, says Mount Anthony Union High School principal Sue Maguire.
Maguire canceled her school’s homecoming dance because of the twerking ways of kids these days, thanks in large part, per Maguire's own words, to the mother of all twerks – the Miley Cyrus butt on crotch twerk of Robin Thicke at last year’s MTV Video Music Awards.
In Maguire’s letter, written to the editor of local Vermont newspaper the Bennington Banner, the principal explains, in part:
Over the past couple of years, since Miley Cyrus took the stage 'twerking at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, our students' dancing behavior has crossed the line of what we can condone as appropriate behavior at a school. Twerking is dancing to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving a low squatting stance and thrusting movements. Students do not face one another or remain with the same person for the length of the song. If you haven't seen twerking, I would encourage you to research this online.
What high school student is not aware of what twerking is? The word was even added to the Oxford Dictionary last year because of its widespread pop-culture usage. But if students in Vermont aren’t familiar with the raised-rear rumba, by all means, let’s have them watch some down and dirty YouTube classics of our finest celebrity role models waggling their money-makers.
Maguire then delves into her explanation of “grinding.”
When faculty spoke with some of our students about how the dancing starts between two people, we were told by students that someone just comes up behind you and starts. One female described being uncomfortable when a male student she didn’t know started "grinding" with her from behind. Other students in the discussion agreed with her and said it is not uncommon. They explained to us no one asks permission before "grinding" nor do they ask the other person if they want to dance.
Is it just us, or do we just shudder when adults attempt to explain things like this?
We get what the school is trying to do, but to sack the entire dance in a Footloose-style small-town ban?
“We plan on continuing the dialogue in hopes that we can work together to reinstate dances,” Maguire said in an interview. “Unfortunately, our young people are continuously exposed to a culture filled with sexualized images and messages, but this should not and cannot be permitted at our school.”
What are your thoughts? Kudos to the school for clamping down, or an over-zealous tightening on teen expression? Leave your thoughts below.