Ticket sales for Saturday's homecoming dance appear unaffected by a recent letter from Lake Zurich High School administrators stating that sexually suggestive moves by students on the floor at such gatherings won't be tolerated, officials said.
Ryan Rubenstein, assistant principal for student activities and facilities, said 1,200 to 1,400 pupils are expected for the annual dance. As of Tuesday, he said, tickets were reported to be selling at the typical rate.
"We have had a ton of support from the parents for the new policy," Rubenstein said in an email Tuesday.
Rubenstein, Principal Kim Kolze, Athletic Director Rolando Vazquez and Dean Chad Beaver were among the school administrators whose names were attached to the letter announcing the new dance policy to parents and students late last month. They said a dance style known as grinding is unacceptable for a school-sponsored activity and some students and parents indicated they were uncomfortable with it.
"The expectations for future Lake Zurich High School dances are changing," the letter says. "From now on, beginning with the homecoming dance on Saturday, Oct. 6, all students must dance appropriately. Inappropriate behavior, including back-to-front dancing, will not be allowed."
Lake Zurich joins other suburban high schools in trying to clamp down on grinding. Mundelein, Geneva and Maine West in Des Plaines are among those that have enacted rules for the dance floor.
Students have until Thursday to purchase tickets to Lake Zurich High's homecoming dance. It'll run from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, a day after the boys varsity homecoming football game against Libertyville High School.
Rubenstein said the pupils have been reminded of the rules when purchasing the dance tickets. He said students believed to be dancing inappropriately will be spoken to as an official warning and may have their wristbands removed by an administrator or chaperon.
"If a student is then caught again, they will be asked to leave the dance," he said.
Parents will be informed if a child is removed from a Lake Zurich High dance for sexually explicit or inappropriate dancing, under the new regulations.
Meanwhile, concerns about high school dance behavior are not limited to the Chicago area.
At Sheboygan North High School in Wisconsin last weekend, officials said in a statement issued Monday the homecoming dance there was "briefly interrupted" because of inappropriate student behavior. On Tuesday, Sheboygan North Principal Jason Bull declined to confirm news reports he threatened the students with repeated playing of "The Chicken Dance" if they didn't shape up.
"The principal commented that if inappropriate behavior continued, there would be actions taken including the lights being turned on and the possibility that the dance would be canceled," says the Sheboygan North statement. "Thankfully, the students cooperated for the remainder of the evening, the dance was resumed and school administration and chaperones continued to monitor behavior throughout the night and the dance ended at 11 p.m. as scheduled."