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Article updated: 2/22/2012 12:57 PM

Dirty dancing comes to grinding halt at Maine West

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Maine West High School students who make sexually suggestive moves at a school dance could get sent home or be disciplined, per a new school policy against "grinding."

The Des Plaines school is the first of Maine Township High School District 207's three high schools to adopt a rule restricting risque dance floor behavior.

Officials are cracking down on grinding after years of isolated incidents at school dances, district spokesman Dave Beery said.

"It has over time become progressively and increasingly more prevalent, and difficult to address on an individual basis without some broader policy in place," Beery said.

"Some of the dancing, when it amounts to simulated sex acts, is simply inappropriate for a high school dance setting. That's why we moved to act on it now. We want students to have fun at dances. At the same time, we have some responsibility to make sure that there is age-appropriate behavior at dances."

Maine West is by no means the first to address this issue.

Within the last year, Mundelein and Geneva high schools have enacted similar rules against grinding following complaints from students, parents and teachers.

Geneva Unit District 304's school board and PTO supported the new policy. In Mundelein, letters were sent home to parents detailing the type of sexually explicit dancing that had become popular at school dances.

Maine West administrators and teachers convened a committee to develop a new wristband policy, which was tested Saturday at the Girls Choice Dance. Beery said there were a couple of instances of teens caught "dirty dancing" and subsequently lost their wristbands.

A second offense would result in the teen being sent home and possibly facing other disciplinary action.

Beery would not elaborate whether the students in question were sent home.

School officials intend to have more eyeballs scanning the dance floor for frisky behavior by students.

District 207's other two schools -- Maine East and South -- haven't yet enacted a grinding restriction.

"It's a point of concern at all of our schools," Beery said. "This issue is not unique to Maine West. Maine West was the first to act on it. Whether or not East and South follow suit with that, I don't know."

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