With school dances, kids learn to have school spirit while having fun with their friends. Kids often look forward to these because they are simply fun. Some school dances like Homecoming, Spring Fling, and Prom, bring in some romance to school, and can be a school's way of recognizing kids' romantic relationships with each other.
SOUTHEAST PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Public Schools says inappropriate, sexual behavior “worse than just dirty dancing” forced Cleveland High School to cancel a dance for the second year in a row.
The district says kids were harassed or inappropriately approached.
But some students told KATU a very different story.
Christine Miles, a spokeswoman for the district, confirmed a report in the school newspaper saying Cleveland High canceled its winter semi-formal again.
Miles said at the beginning of this school year kids were warned.
"The principal and staff over at Cleveland said, ‘OK, let's try the homecoming dance and if everybody can behave and act appropriately on the dance floor, we'll have another dance,’” she explained, “but that didn't happen."
Miles said the homecoming dance last month got pretty bad.
"This is worse than just dirty dancing,” Miles said. “This is very inappropriate, sexual behavior on the dance floor."
And she said behavior like that is harder to control than some might think.
“We don't have enough chaperones to pull the kids off of one another,” Miles said, “and they're supposed to be there enjoying a good time."
"I haven't heard anybody talking about how horrific a dance was,” said Selena Haslam, a student at Cleveland High.
She and other students KATU spoke with said they believe the administration went too far, punishing everyone for the actions of a few.
"The dances that I've gone to, again, I'm a senior,” said Haslam, “have always been clean, appropriate and all-around fun."
“Dirty dancing” at Cleveland High is nothing new as an old yearbook spread proves and Ivan Schmidt can attest.
"I don't know what the statute of limitations is but I might have been a perpetrator,” said Schmidt, who graduated in 2002.
He said canceling the dance seems a bit severe but admitted, “If I was a parent of a high school age kid I might feel differently."
Another dance was canceled at the school for similar reasons about five years ago.
Miles said the school may cancel more in the future if students don't improve their behavior.