Tippecanoe County proposing new regulations for high school dances

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Many local high schools have already had their proms, but by the time the next prom season rolls around, a group of central Indiana schools hopes to have new rules in place for the students who attend. They still want the kids to have fun, but in what they call an "appropriate way."

Tippecanoe County Public High Schools are working together on rules to apply to students attending school functions. The proposed rules specifically target dancing.

Lafayette Jefferson Principal Mark Preston puts it this way: "To us, it's pretty simple: 'Face to face, and leave some space'."

The slogan is catchy, but it doesn't stop there. All students attending a school function will have to read the rules -- and sign a form agreeing to them. They will get a wrist band proving that they signed. If they dance in a way that is contrary to the rules, they lose their wrist band and their ability to get back inside.

It may sound a little like the plot line of the 1984 film "Footloose," but school administrators say it's not that they don't want their student to dance. They just don't want what they refer to as "club dancing" (think Miley Cyrus twerking her way through the MTV VMA awards in 2013). Specifically, the rules state: "No front to back grinding, no straddling legs, no bending over, no touching of breasts, buttocks or genitals -- both feet must remain on the floor. No making out, no overt and/or public displays of affection. Dancing must be appropriate and in good taste."

Principal Preston sees the rules as a metaphor for life.

"There's a set of expectations, whether it's here are Jefferson High School, in life, in a job, if it's in a college -- wherever it is, you have a set of expectations that you're expected to follow."

Students we talked with said they understand what the schools are trying to accomplish.

Junior Cory Richardson said, "If you're warned, you're supposed to listen; Like, there's rules. If you don't go by the rules, you're out."

The sentiment was echoed by sophomore Leon Harris, who told us, "I'm OK with it personally, but I think people will be tempted not to go to the dance anymore."

The school board is set to consider the idea next week when it will also consider giving all students attending school dances a breathalyzer to check for underage drinking. The new policies could be placed in the student handbook in time for the 2014-15 school year.