Since we've had some chatter recently about teenage T-shirts promoting sex and the challenges of upholding moral messages at public schools, I thought this story from today's LA Times was an especially good example of what happens when those in power actually take a stand for what is right.
Times reporter Seema Mehta reports that some California principals, parents and even students are tired of teenagers' provocative dancing--what we colloquially know as "freaking"--at school-sponsored dances, so theyâ€™ve come up with a solution. Lights on, no music that compels oneâ€™s body to gyrate with abandon and in the most extreme cases--no dances at all.
Principal Patricia Law of Windsor High School, near Santa Rosa, CA, cancelled every single one of the dances for the remainder of this year because so many students were imitating sex while on the dance floor. At other nearby high schools, student council members started a campaign called "Freeze the Freak" and dance chaperones have worn shirts emblazoned with "No Freaking."
It's not a popular move by those who don't care to see dance imitate sex and sex imitate a teenager's life. But it's the best message for the gaggle of young people across this country who think that their peers, their parents and their educators owe them the right to do as they please.
The consequences are significant here. It's the same you-owe-me attitude that allows teenagers to avoid becoming responsible young adults and instead to rely on Mom and Dad to bail them out for the rest of their lives. It's the reason they grow up expecting their parents to debate their teachers on the injustice of a grade, to pay their DUI fines or to raise their out-of-wedlock children.
Some parents are angry that educators would go so far. Their sons and daughters are upset. But parents sadly have missed the point. Teenagers aren't just rebelling by insisting on freak dancing. They are rebelling against everything and anything that comes to mind--against rules, against curfews, against authority wiser than they, as one anonymous student in Mehta's story reveals.
More importantly, those who say freaking isn't a big deal have missed what is at stake. We will know the heartbreak of abusing God's pure and holy gift of sex. Certainly, teenage ladies who freak dance are just as guilty as the guys who do it. But we've got to look ahead and think about what this is opening up to our future men. Unfortunately, we may not know until after it's too lateâ€¦when the violators of your daughters or my future daughters will answer to a court of law. Why did they do it? someone, somewhere along the way will ask.
We will be able to track it back to this culture that feeds off the cheap exhilaration of the sexual fix and to a dance floor--where teenage boys could thrust their pelvises and grope girls' chests all in the name of dance.