Trouble at the Homecoming Dance

Eat well and small, get a massage and do your stretches
My my, what the kids of today will get up to at their homecoming dance! Typically, young men and women in their late teens will push limits anyway and it doesn't really matter which era we're talking about. Think back to some of the Happy Days episodes and the drink-spiking and threats of rumbling that went on. In the seventies, it was all about flower power and sneaking a smoke at the back of the auditorium. The eighties was more about sampling alcohol that someone had snuck in. Every generation has its vices and every generation's school administration will try to thwart adolescent attempts to introduce them. The homecoming dance is a rite of passage, an event that signifies school spirit and an appreciation for community spirit. With careful planning and some maturity on the part of the students, it can be an incident-free night with fun for all.

Loudon Valley High School in Virginia made all students who were planning to attend the homecoming dance sign an agreement that they would only dance facing each other. The ban was on 'freak dancing' and was put in place so there would be no 'bump and grind' moves, deemed way too provocative for the age group. Students protested that their freedoms were being violated and up to 300 of them signed a petition to voice their objections.

At another school in the same state, the principal issued a 'stay classy' contract for students to sign, in order to be allowed to go to the homecoming dance. Many did sign but the attendance numbers were lower than expected and some party-lovers were asked to leave after violating the terms.

The desire for a 'dry' homecoming dance is commonplace among parents, teachers and other mature adults. Sadly, up to 20% of students will even arrive for the event already drunk, meaning that a dark shadow is cast over the festivities, including for those with better intentions. Recently in Harrison Township, Detroit, between 30 and 40 teens arrived for their dance noticeably intoxicated and were turned away.

Drink-spiking can be a problem at many a homecoming dance, with pranksters looking for laughs, but ending up with trouble.

Even worse in recent times is the threat of violence, with some schools having to enforce bag checks and use metal detectors to eliminate guns and other weapons from the homecoming dance. It's a great shame because the whole night requires a huge amount of work to put together and for the most part, the students, parents and teachers attending have nothing in mind except to have fun, dance for hours and write the event into their personal histories.

With so many modern day issues clouding the focus of homecoming dance organizers, it's a wonder these occasions can still be held. Most people just want to let their hair down and enjoy a fun, exciting evening, celebrating their school lives and looking forward to what the future holds. It's a pity that so few ruin it for so many.

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