Trustee: Twerking suspensions should be rescinded - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Trustee: Twerking suspensions should be rescinded

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  • SDUSD Board to reconsider "twerking" controversy

    SDUSD Board to reconsider "twerking" controversy

    Tuesday, May 14 2013 10:55 AM EDT2013-05-14 14:55:18 GMT
    The San Diego Unified School District Board of Education is scheduled to consider Tuesday whether to drop senior exhibitions as a graduation requirement and may take up the  
    The San Diego Unified School District Board of Education is scheduled to consider Tuesday whether to drop senior exhibitions as a graduation requirement and may take up the suspensions of Scripps Ranch High School students depicted in a controversial dance video. 

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A San Diego Unified School District Board of Education member said Wednesday he hopes the suspensions of students over a controversial video depicting sexually suggestive dance moves will be taken off the participants' records, so their chances at college admission are not harmed.

Trustee Scott Barnett said the Scripps Ranch High School students who made and appeared in the video, and administrators who rendered the punishment, showed "poor judgment."

The board declined to rescind the suspensions at Tuesday's meeting, since such action is under the authority of principals.

But Barnett said he hopes the Scripps Ranch High principal will retroactively remove the suspensions, so they will no longer appear on the students' records. About 30 were involved in shooting or dancing in the video.

Barnett said the participants deserved to be sanctioned in some manner, suggesting a public apology, lunch detention, writing a paper about their actions or "other relevant consequences."

"At the same time, I believe the punishment meted out -- two-day suspensions for sexual harassment -- was overly severe in that it could cause significant damage to a student's academic future, possibly harming their ability to get into their college of choice," he said. "I am hopeful that all parties involved, both students and district administrators, acknowledge that further thought should have occurred prior to the decisions they made."

The video, which was made during class time on campus, and with school equipment, featured numerous girls in dance moves called "twerking," in which they gyrate their hips in a suggestive manner, sometimes while standing on their heads.

The dancers and videographer were also in danger of not being able to go to prom or walk at graduation, but board President John Lee Evans said Tuesday night those sanctions had been lifted at the school site.

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