Video: Anti-freaking dance clip freaks out Grand Junction

As a native of Grand Junction, I know a little something about the town's conservative values. So I'm not even slightly surprised by the reaction to a Central High video featuring students grinding on each other, even though the clip was intended to discourage such behavior at school dances. See excerpts below.

According to KKCO-TV, the video was created by student government reps and was played at a pep rally as a way of demonstrating what moves were acceptable and unacceptable at school-sponsored events.

Freaking and grinding, in which a male dancer slides up behind a bent-over female and sets his hips on the simulated "swivel" and "ram" settings, are considered verboten. But because the lighthearted video -- which is available on YouTube, but password protected -- depicts dancing that's over the line as well as within it, one parent went ballistic, contacting KKCO and the state school board. Here's an excerpt from her e-mail:

It is utterly inappropiate and I am amazed that the Principal would allow such a display of sex to be displayed on school property.

This is a disgrace to Mesa County School District and a scar on those students at CHS who take their education seriously. It appears the leadership at Central High has reached a point where the management of the school is completly out of control. Although some found this ok and funny to share, I don't think many parents will.

Controversy followed. At this writing, the KKCO story has generated 105 comments. Many of them defend the video, or attack the station for publicizing it, while others are satirical, like this post attributed to "Tim Tebow:"

Hello kids, Its Tim Tebow. I'd like to say I love "freaking"...even more than "Tebowing". Keep up the good work, and god bless.

But there are also posts like this one:

I wish the administration of District 51/CHS would instill some form of discipline in and outside the classroom. Video or no video, over 50% of the students who attend CMU have to take remedial classes in Reading, English and/or Math. Not all of our students are from District 51 but many of those students taking these are District 51 grads. I understand the need for our 090 and 091 courses which are high school equivalent classes. But we have 030 courses which are equivalent to 4th/5th grades at least in math. In fact one teacher told me that some of his/her students in this class will actually count on their fingers. I know CMU may not get the bulk of the brightest from District 51 but remember approximately 25% do not even go to college. Except for a few who go directly into a trade what kind of skills do you think they possess? I have been told by District 51 teachers that grades have been changed by administrators or have been told to change grades by administrators to pass the students along. Now students can take quizzes over and over again until they pass. Thus there is no need to study in the first place and just retake the quizzes until the material is learned by osmosis. And for some classes the due date for any assignment is the last day of class. Procrastination does not enhance learning. That sure teaches the students life skills! Where has discipline and responsibility gone? Stop playing around and hold the students accountable.

That's the kind of thing that makes me homesick. Here's the KKCO report, featuring the video.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
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