Students suspended for 'Harlem Shake' dance; parents complain, district relents


School officials suspended six varsity hockey players at Mound Westonka High School before a high-stakes playoff game Friday because the teens were part of group of students staging a "Harlem Shake" dance in the school lunchroom, the Star Tribune reported.

Their parents were furious, and district officials over the weekend reconsidered and lessened a punishment, the newspaper reported. Mound Westonka High School Principal Keith Randklev said officials decided not to enforce a second day of suspensions, and the principal also asked police to rescind $75 tickets issued to the students for acting “in a riot-like behavior."

But parents said the damage was done – the short-handed Mount Westonka squad lost the Friday sectional quarterfinal game, the newspaper reported.

“This is too little, too late,” parent Michelle Brandstetter told the newspaper. “They rushed to judgment.” Some parents want school officials fired over it, the Star Tribune reports.

The Harlem Shake is an Internet craze that swept Minnesota and the nation. Participants dance to the song “Harlem Shake” by the electronic music producer Baauer and post short video clips to YouTube. (MinnPost has a defense of the meme, which is already beyond its peak.)

In the Mound Westonka version, students dance on tabletops and chairs, but parent Brandstetter told the Star Tribune that district officials in Mound have not said specifically what rule the students violated.

Students have staged "Harlem Shake" dances at schools nationwide, and many have not faced any consequences, although other schools have issued punishments, including schools in Louisiana, Florida and Pennsylvania.

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