The TCAPS Board of Education and district officials are responsible for safety at school functions, including dances. Board of Education President Kelly Hall supported the changes made to dances at Central.
Hall said board members heard complaints from parents about dirty dancing after homecoming.
“The gist of their complaints is their kids did not feel comfortable,” Hall said.
District administrators must walk a line between maintaining appropriate behavior and letting kids have fun at dances.
Most students behave appropriately, but the “sexually explicit” dancing of some has become a problem, Vandermolen said. It makes administrators and chaperons uncomfortable, and Central officials started leaving some lights on in the school’s gym as a result.
“I wanted chaperons and administrators to be able to see if any student dancing needed to be addressed,” Vandermolen said.
But even partially lighting the gym is an unpopular move.
Central junior Tori Bartos is not attending the dance at Park Place tonight, but she said students feel self-conscious when lights are on at school dances.
Without the overhead lights, everyone feels more free to dance, Bartos said.
“It’s gotten to the point where it’s just really lame,” Bartos said. “I went to homecoming, and I just don’t want to go anymore.”