Dirty Dancing Among Middle School Students
Dirty dancing by 6th, 7th and 8th graders prompts Frankfort Park District to cancel its ‘08 dancesProbably most liberals would agree that this sort of thing among middle school students is a bad thing.
Somewhere between the groping, the grinding, the insults and the foul language, Megan Zobel had seen enough. How could middle school students -- 6th, 7th and 8th graders -- act this way at a teen dance?
Zobel, an event coordinator for the Frankfort Park District, wasn’t being naive. She was once a teenager. She knew the kind of drama that’s typical of hormone-charged dances at this age.
But after a district-sponsored dance in January unraveled into too much touching and feeling among dancegoers -- as well as too much contact, too much abuse hurled at adult supervisors and, finally, a staged sit-in by about 50 teens -- officials knew something had to be done.
They’ve now canceled the remaining eight dances on the district’s 2008 calendar, a decision that has sparked considerable debate among parents, students and educators in southwest suburban Frankfort. The decision has also brought to life age-old generational struggles regarding boundaries and breaking them.
“When parents ask why we’ve done this, I tell them I couldn’t even have shown them what these kids were doing on videotape -- it’s almost illegal,” said Zobel, 34. “We’re talking about groups of 20 kids or so rubbing up against each other.”
The Frankfort Square Park District, which spans parts of Frankfort, Mokena, Tinley Park and unincorporated Will County, also discontinued its 7th- and 8th-grade dances after organizers saw kids’ behavior spiraling downward, said district Executive Director Jim Randall.
“Each dance was a different story,” Randall said. “But often you saw the same types of problems come up with vulgar dancing” and kids showing too much skin.
Along with inappropriate dancing and dress, Zobel said some dancegoers were verbally abusive to park staff who tried to defuse the volatile dancing.
But the problem is: how do you keep the sexual norms of the general society from filtering down to kids whom everybody agrees lack the maturity to handle sexual decisions?
The simple answer: you don’t and you can’t.
With a sex saturated media, how does one expect pubescent kids to be less raunchy than what they can see on TV?
How many of these girls are allowed to watch “Sex in the City?”
How many have older sisters, say 16 or 17 years old, who are on birth control and having sex with a boyfriend or the most recent of a string of boyfriends?
How many have a college age sister who is brazenly shacking up with a boyfriend, and even having a kid ot of wedlock?
How many of the boys assume that, in a year or two (or even now) they will have a girlfriend who will have sex with them? And if one girlfriend won’t, will drop her for another.
This is the problem with the liberal yuppies who think their contempt for traditional sexual norms has no consequences. After all, they say, “it’s my life.”
But it isn’t just their life. It establishes the norms that young teens and preteens accept.