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Linn-Mar 'Grinding' Ban Followed Blog From 2011 Homecoming Dance Chaperon

The Linn-Mar School District has put new rules on the books specifically outlining what kinds of dancing isn't allowed, but does it go to far?

The debate on followed a blog post from a chaperon for the high school's 2011 Homecoming.

The parent was worried about grinding, the person wrote in the post titled "Homecoming Disgrace." The blog has since been removed but it received coverage from the Gazette.

"The guys standing behind them, pulling them into their groin…all night long," the parent wrote.

This controversy ended with Linn-Mar officials putting very specific rules in the handbook against grinding and other "inappropriate dance behaviors, like "bending over in front of another individual" and "simulation of a sex act."

What Grinding Looks Like

In a letter to the Marion Times, the chaperon who wrote the original blog post, described in detail what she saw at the homecoming dance:

Your daughter, dressed like a princess, who leaves the lovely flower garden photo opportunity and goes to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant, then gets escorted into the raunchiest environment I have ever seen. Never mind the music. Or the lyrics telling them to take it all off. Or the kids singing “F-you and f-you too!” None of that impresses me...

Can I define grinding for you? I’m not talking Dirty Dancing here—that’s close but without the humanity of being face to face. The guys are standing behind them, pulling them close into their groin and rubbing themselves against their princess-date’s backside all night long. All night long. Almost all of the 1000 kids on the dance floor were doing just that. 

In fairness to the students, one Linn-Mar High School attendee told the Gazette this:

"I didn’t really notice anything different," said Andy Henry, a senior in 2011.  "Everything’s about the same.  I noticed it calmed down a lot so I don’t really think the blog was all correct.”

Will Students "Grind" Anyway?

While the controversy over the blog post was still simmering, frustrated Linn-Mar students started a dance of their own, called "GRINDFEST 2012."

Though the name sounds to be facetious; the event actually had "up to 20" chaperons according to its Facebook page, in addition to a police presence.

Bob Jordan, the coordinator and a student at the time, wrote that Linn-Mar staff were discouraging the event.

Linn-Mar students that play sports have been told or it was insinuated that if they attend Grindfest they may lose playing time or be suspended from the team they play on. As a result 15 tickets holders asked for refunds, mostly girl basketball players... One athlete said the school was going to use the "guilt by association" rule if they attended.

Jordan said the event was not so much about grinding, rather it was billed as an alternative event not sanctioned by the school.

What do you think?

It's easy to imagine that parents may be alarmed that these teens, once children, once toddlers, once babies, dance in very sexually suggestive ways, so should these rules be in place, or not? Do you think the school went too far, did the right thing, or did not go far enough?

Let us know in the comments.

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