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May 11th, 2009
10:01 AM ET

You can('t) dance if you want to...

Maybe you've heard about the Ohio high school student suspended for going to the prom?

The gist: the 17-year-old is a senior at a private Christian school that bans dancing and "rock-n-roll", among other things - in school & out. His girlfriend goes to the town's public high school. He went to her prom, despite his principal's warning about "consequences".

The student's been told not to come to school for the remainder of the year. He won't walk with his class at graduation. He CAN take his finals over the summer, and get his diploma.

Tell us what you think about this one! Kyra will read some comments on the air this afternoon.


Filed under: Kyra Phillips • On TV
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Chris

    It's a shame there are so many narrow-minded and self-righteous people out there, but it's ESPECIALLY a shame when they are the ones "teaching" our children!

    May 11, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  2. curious1966

    Hi Kyra

    I guess the school doesn't believe that GOD sometimes breaks out and does a happy dance from time to time.
    Absolutely ridiculous the school would prevent him from going to Graduation. It is like a slap in the face for that young man. Instead of thanking him for attending that school for 11 years, they take away one of the most important days of his life. All because he listened to some music....and he danced!

    May 11, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  3. scott stodden

    I dont think its right that the student cant graduate with his class thats a bit extreme, but rules are rules

    May 11, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  4. Kimi A

    I hate to blame the victim, but if you attend anything with the fundemental baptist church they tell you thier rules ahead of time. Women don't wear pants, no dancing or up beat music. I attended one if these churches for a little under a year. The church I attended did not let non christians attend the school. This young man and his family shound not be surprised.
    The problem is the school not allowing the young man to graduate. On the other hand those are the risk you take attending a private school.

    Private schools have too much power in ruling thier students lives even when we are not at school. I attend a private college though I am still underaged my friends that are 21 are not allowed to have any alcohol even if they are off campus and not going back to campus that night. If I was to move in with my fiance while on summer vacation and it get back to faculty I would most likely be suspended or even expelled.
    Thats not the schools business but they do this to keep the image they want to keep

    May 11, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  5. beverlt clark

    As a mother and grandmother and living in our world today it is hard to fathom that we still have schools that are so hard core. I look at the teenagers going to our church and am just glad they show up and look as nice as they do. I will be fascinated to watch how this turns out.

    May 11, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  6. Mark

    At a time when we need to reach out to our youth, I don't think this type of action to exclude him does any thing but move our youth further from the church.

    May 11, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  7. Danced

    Hello Kyra,
    I can't believe that in this day and age a school (even a private religious school) would ban a student from graduation with his fellow students for such a small offense of their rules/beliefs. Having had 3 children who are now adults, I can almost bet that even some of that school's staff has at one time in their lives danced or done some other infraction. If all that student did was dance at a prom I think they should count themselves blessed to have such a well behaved student. I know, I know, it was against a religious belief, however, if God can forgive, so can they!

    Thank you,
    MaryJane Nuskey
    Frostproof, Florida

    May 11, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  8. Tera S.

    This is not about dancing this about following rules. He was told ahead of time there would be a fall out if he followed through with his plan to attend the prom. He made the choice to go to the prom anyway so he choose to accept whatever may come his way. What happened to accepting responsibility for our own choices? Do we really want to teach our childrent this life really operates on what feels good instead of structure?

    May 11, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  9. Art Roberts

    On one hand, I am surprised to see such narrow mindedness this day and age, and on the other, I am glad to see that the school is still in control.

    Many years ago (50's) while in elementary school, we did some dancing in gym class and one girl had to not participate because of her religion. It was very embarrasing for all.

    Art Roberts
    OKC, OK

    May 11, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  10. Kendall Samuels

    I think that the school should not monitor students outside of school because as a 16 year old high school student in my junior year it is our responsible to take full responsibility of what we d. Now i see nothing wrong with what that teenage guy did. all he did was go to his girlfriend's prom instead of going to his prom. See at my school if we bring an individual who is a non member of the school we are responsible for the well-being of that individual not the school's. So why would a principal of a private school do such a thing? As long as he was within the rights of the other school's prom and did not cause any harm to anything or anybody than he should not be punished to the extent that was given to him. What he did was not that serious. ITS PROM LET THE JUNIORS AND SENIORS LIKE ME HAVE OUR FUN BEFORE WE GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL! IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK AMERICA?

    May 11, 2009 at 8:40 pm |
  11. JM

    I don't think that what he did was wrong in the sense of dancing, rock etc, but I have to say that if you attend a school and were warned of the consequences....then you need to either don't break the rules or go with the consequences.

    Kids need to learn that there are consequences for their actions.

    I think why people are so upset about this for is because it was a rule put in place by a religious school and they are having a problem against what they believe, not so much the rule itself.

    These sorts of things have happened in public schools as well. I don't think that we should be talking about the "dumb" rules that any school has in place, that's not the point here. The point is that he broke a rule and he knew there would be consequences.

    I work with delinquent teens. If they had more consequences for their actions earlier in life, many of them wouldn't be here.

    So might be a dumb rule to us, but it's a rule just the same. Many rules out there are to teach us to follow a rule or learn consequences. See it as that, not through biased eyes that just see "Christianity" written all over it.

    May 12, 2009 at 1:38 am |
  12. Mike Sanders

    I agree with the narrow-minded behavior...it has become progressively worse. Several forms of religious manipulation have crept into our society and caused serious damage to our freedoms.
    This is a consideration for harassment. Outside of normal activities the church/school has no legal right on the student, especially in public events, that may influence the social health of a student (this includes social interactions that may influence the child's ability to interact and cope). The student may remove emblems that represent his school or church to prevent any public connection or embarrassment.
    My wife is Baptist we were married in a Baptist church. I'm aware of the rules. I'm also aware that the ceremonial (church side) of my marriage has no effect on my government issued marriage license.

    We're supposed to make a joyful noise; we're supposed jump for joy.
    Judge not lest ye be judged and all that.

    May 12, 2009 at 1:50 am |
  13. Linda Williams

    I am an adult student at a private Christian University in Southern Californa obtaining my business degree. One of our main topics of discussion and focus is lead by example. This story concerns me because the school is not setting a good example especially a Christian example. Jesus stated to follow him..

    Students need to be be judged on their academic behavior. Was he specificallly told of the consequences? Where does his school have the authority to dictate this student's private life? To withhold graduation seems unfair and arcaic, plus it shows the world a poor portrayal of Christianity.

    Linda Williams
    Riverside, CA

    May 12, 2009 at 2:32 am |
  14. janet

    maybe the principal will be OK with it if all females wore beekeeper suits so not to tempt the males, eh? Sounds lik these Christian "people" have a lot in common with another extreme religious group we've all heard about. There is zero trust there for the students. And we thought Footloose was just a silly 80s movie.

    May 12, 2009 at 6:18 am |
  15. dave sewell

    many people have gotten away with the same intellegent and educated attitude showed by miss california. although a question and a fair answer should not take her down- lying is a different thing but the some of the most respected today -"LIES" do your thing girl.

    May 12, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  16. Carmen Slack

    The school should be sued. It should be illegal to punish children because of the school's weird views. The student wanted to go to the prom dance and it's not an illegal dance. They say he didn't sign the original school entrance contract stating school views. Looks like he has a good chance to win this fight.

    Why encourage this small minded thinking anywhere in the US. Private school or religous school or any school. We need to encourage our children. This kind of stuff only hurts them.

    May 12, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  17. John Mint

    Aviation Safety,
    The operations side of the house, pilots, are not the only airline employees being used as ATMs for greedy airline management. I have been an aircraft mechanic for over thirty four years and I am out of work and, can't find work in Michigan. The Bush administration stood by and let Northwest Airlines lock us out, gut our contract. We were replaced by a bunch of inexperienced scabs. Now Delta owns Northwest. Funny thing Deltas' ceo Richard Anderson used to be the ceo at Northwest. He, Anderson, helped Frank Lorenzo gut and destroy Eastern and Continential airlines. Airline executives are nothing but modern day carpetbaggers, the simply dress in Armani suits and Gucci shoes. The hundred dollar seat everybody craves just may get you a six thousand dollar grave.

    John

    May 14, 2009 at 1:52 pm |

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