SAN DIEGO — Two members of the San Diego Unified School District Board of Education are questioning whether school officials acted appropriately by suspending more than 30 students at Scripps Ranch High School for appearing in a suggestive dance video.
Trustee Scott Barnett issued a statement through the district Thursday that called for a closed session discussion at the board’s next regular meeting on May 14. Wednesday, Trustee Kevin Beiser also called for a review of the suspensions by the school board.
Parents and other students told local media outlets that the dancers and videographer were suspended for five days and could miss prom and might not be allowed to walk at graduation.
The video shows the students gyrating and shaking their hips in a sexually suggestive manner, a dance move known as “twerking,” while doing handstands.
The video was uploaded to YouTube, where there are dozens of other “twerking” videos, including several by celebrity Miley Cyrus.
The story on the suspensions has received national attention.
UT San Diego reported the video was made on the Scripps Ranch campus while school was in session.
“The school board has not received a briefing yet, and all I know is from media reports,” Barnett said. “As a father of two teen-aged daughters (in a different high school in San Diego Unified) I take issues of proper conduct and discipline very seriously; at the same time I need to be satisfied that the consequences of these actions are reasonable and proportionate.”
He declined to discuss specifics about individual students. The district has refused to comment on the suspensions.