News & Politics

Students at Utah School Can't Say No if Asked to Dance. Is it 'Rape Culture'?

Image by chelseighmillar from Pixabay

A school in a tiny Utah town has become national news after it was revealed that the school has adopted a policy that says students can’t refuse to dance at a school function if asked by another student.

School authorities say the policy was created to promote “inclusiveness.” But one mother thinks it’s “rape culture.”

Sacramento Bee:

Alicia Hobson says her daughter refused to dance with a boy during the Valentine’s Day dance at Rich Middle School in Laketown, a small town in northeast Utah, according to a Facebook post. Hobson’s daughter told her that the principal intervened, telling her she must dance, the mom said.

I just didn’t like it at all,” Hobson’s daughter, Azlyn, told KTSU. “When they finally said it was done, I was like, ‘Yes!’”

Azlyn was apparently not enamored of this whole “inclusiveness” idea. But the school principal, Kip Motta, explained that it was a matter of safety and comfort.

“We want to protect every child’s right to be safe and comfortable at school,” Motta told the newspaper. “We believe in that 100 percent. We also believe that all children should be included in activities.”

Hobson disagrees. She refuses to let her daughter and other students become “wrapped up” in a rape culture.

“She should not have to stand close to him with his hands on her if she doesn’t want to,” Hobson posted on Facebook. “She has the right to say no to anyone for any reason or no reason.”

People:

“Girls HAVE to learn that they have the right to say no and that those around them have to respect that,” Hobson wrote on Facebook. “I’m not going to quietly stand by while my daughter and all of her classmates are being wrapped up in rape culture. No way.”

How comfortable is an 11-year old girl being asked to dance? Probably as uncomfortable as an 11-year-old boy doing the asking. The mother has a point about not being touched without permission, but really now, “rape culture”? A bit over the top, don’t you think?

After originally defending the policy. the school board is now reviewing it. Sacramento Bee:

“The last thing in the world we want anybody to do is to feel uncomfortable, any student at all to feel uncomfortable, or feel threatened or feel at all unsafe,” [Motta] told the TV station.

Hobson said she intends to contact the Utah Board of Education if the policy isn’t removed.

“I’m so angry right now for all the kids in that school,” Hobson posted on Facebook. “Why can’t they just have a fun school dance and not be forced to dance with kids they don’t want to dance with?”

Good question, mom, and the answer is it’s all about “feelings” and being included. Pre-pubescent kids taking their first steps toward interacting with the opposite sex doesn’t matter. Not excluding anyone for any reason trumps human nature and the natural rhythms of life, where perhaps the definition of “uncomfortable” might be an 11-year old girl and an 11-year old boy awkwardly meeting on a dance floor.

We get it. No one likes rejection — especially being rejected to dance by a girl you have a crush on when you’re young. But someone should tell the school authorities that this is life. It may not fit someone’s idea of a politically-correct culture, but it’s part of the mysterious process by which children grow to be adults.