Students at Mound Westonka who yield to the next viral dance craze likely won't receive the same sanctions as they did for the "Harlem Shake."
Several students at the school were suspended on Feb. 22 after participating in the Internet video sensation on school grounds, including six varsity hockey players who had to miss a critical playoff matchup. Their two-day suspensions were reduced to one day and police-issued $75 citations rescinded following parent outcry, while former activities director Dion Koltes resigned in the wake of the backlash.
Read: Mound Westonka activities director resigns: http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/21589006/harlem-shake
Following the controversy, Westonka officials were prompted to revise polices that clarify police intervention at the school and explain punishment procedures relating to extra-curricular activities.
A letter sent to all school district families stated that before any discipline can be administered, complete investigation of an incident will take place, even if it takes up to two school days to review. In discipline situations that involve multiple students and there are no immediate safety concerns, the investigation will be completed before any punishment is determined.
Superintendent Kevin Borg noted that while the investigation of the incident is now complete, frustrations remain, but the district will continue to move forward. His statement read, in part:
"As your superintendent, as a community member and as a fellow parent, I want our students, staff, parents and community to consistently feel pride in Westonka Schools. Our students and staff have given us, and continue to give us, so many reasons to be proud."
The investigation concluded that while students were given permission to film the "Harlem Shake" video at school, it escalated into a potentially dangerous event with students standing on tables and pushing each other. Unforeseen by students, parents and administrators, the dance would not be well-received despite its popularity.