Pt. Angeles students spurn school dances over tightened rules

PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) - Many Port Angeles High School students aren't attending school dances because of rules known as "Face to Face, Leave Some Space."

The rules ban back-to-front dancing, which school officials said could lead to inappropriate grinding. Students said the rules also ban party dances such as the conga line and bunny hop.

The Spring Fling dance was canceled after only 15 tickets were sold, the Peninsula Daily News reported Tuesday.

Canceled or low-attendance dances mean less revenue from the fundraisers.

Senior Laurel Jenkens, student body government representative to the Port Angeles School District board, pleaded the students' case at last month's meeting.

"We would like to reach a compromise in which school dances can be fun and safe for everybody," Jenkens said.

Student government drafted a strict "one strike and you're out" policy for school dances, and presented it to the school improvement team as a compromise. The proposal was rejected, Jenkens said.

"Nobody is listening to us," she told the school board. "They are not taking it as seriously as we take it."

An average homecoming dance has an attendance of about 700 students, but only 267 attended in 2012.

Instead of turning a profit, "we lost $60," she said.

The Junior Ball had 434 students attending in 2012. Only six students purchased tickets in 2013. The junior class was left with only $73.84 in its account, Jenkens said.

School administrators have no plans to change the rules.

"It's unfortunate, but we're not the first school to have gone down this road," Principal Garry Cameron said. "If students want to attend, we'll have a dance," he said.

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The Peninsula Daily News is a media partner of KOMO News. Read the original Daily news story.