Can One Vermont High School Principal Put an End to All This Twerking?

Homecoming is cancelled at Mount Anthony Union HS in Bennington, VT, and it's Miley Cyrus' fault

Twerking Vermont High School Cancel Homecoming Miley Cyrus Diplo
Burned into our cultural consciousness, the twerk that launched one bajillion twerks Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images
WRITTEN BY
Colin Stutz

Vermont is in full-fledged crisis mode. Teenagers have run amok with this newfangled twerk-dance and there's no telling what might happen should it be allowed to continue.

Thank Jebus some high school administrators at Mount Anthony Union High School in Bennington are taking a stance and nipping this problem in its pubescent bud. Local hero Sue Maguire, principal of the aforementioned school, is canceling homecoming until these dirty children learn some more respectful dance moves, as Gawker reports.

"Over the past couple of years, since Miley Cyrus took the stage 'twerking' at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards, our students' dancing behavior has crossed the line of what we can condone as appropriate behavior at a school," writes Maguire in a letter to the editor for the Bennington Banner newspaper, tracing the epidemic's previously unearthed roots. 

Maguire provides an explanation: "Twerking is dancing to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving a low squatting stance and thrusting movements. Students do not face one another or remain with the same person for the length of the song. ... If you haven't seen twerking, I would encourage you to research this online [ed: links added]."

She continues, "We have been asked why we don't just stop it. Try to picture our cafeteria, with 400 to 500 students in tight clusters of about 80 students. It is very difficult to get into the middle of the clusters to monitor every student who is dancing inappropriately."

To be fair to Ms. Maguire, who has the responsibility to supervise and educate a portion of our nation's future leaders, her concern over twerking isn't only the sexuality of the dancing but that she has been led to believe it encourages non-consensual grinding on the dance floor, which could theoretically translate to other sorts of violent action against women down the line.

"When faculty spoke with some of our students about how the dancing starts between two people, we were told by students that someone just comes up behind you and starts," she writes. "One female described being uncomfortable when a male student she didn't know started 'grinding' with her from behind. Other students in the discussion agreed with her and said it is not uncommon. They explained to us no one asks permission before 'grinding' nor do they ask the other person if they want to dance."

She notes she and her team have researched the issue and have found many other schools "across the nation" are struggling to find the balance between appropriate school behavior and allowing kids to express themselves. Apparently, other dances have been cancelled in Vermont and nearby Massachusetts and New York. Last year, as SPIN reported, 33 high school students were suspended for twerking in San Diego.

"We need to engage in conversations with our students about how to be respectful of each other," she wrote. To which we say, yes... but we'd gamble a guess that when your students are twerking at a school dance, it means they're not doing heroine. Which is a good thing, in a small town the New York Times reported as overtaken by a drug scourge earlier this year. 

Also, "I thought this was a party!"

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