Black and Gold Grinding


Sometimes I just don’t think I was cut out to be a parent.  I don’t get all riled up and up in arms the way some do over little things, but you tell me if I need to react a little stronger to this one.

Dirty dancing, grinding, and the like were banned at Traverse Area Public Schools so what do some kids do?  They write about it in their school newspaper – with pictures!  The Black and Gold, a newspaper at Traverse City Central High School, issued “a guide for future reference” on the practice of grinding.  It was an informative, but satirical look at the rules of their district.  Had the rule been to not eat carrots while running and they had written an article with bunny rabbits infesting the school with wielding potentially dangerous carrots no one would have balked.  It was the act of seeing grinding in the paper that had some parents up in arms.

And it had me chuckling.

Maybe you’ve seen some of the things I like on Facebook or maybe you’ve gotten a sense of my zany sense of humor right here on Good Enough Mother.  I love when someone does something creative.  When kids do it to balk the establishment?  Oh, it’s on!  It was a funny bit.  The kids didn’t actually grind to create the pictures, they used stock photos.  They could have put up some sort of viral video, but they didn’t, they stayed classy.  And maybe the parents in Traverse City didn’t see “Footloose”, the 1984 movie starring John Lithgow and Kevin Bacon, because those kids would have been dirty dancing and grinding with choreography!  You do not want that.


The parents in the town want the faculty advisor, Missi Yeomans, who oversees the paper, fired, but get this.  This paper has won awards for its edgy, satirical writing.  So the superintendent, Steve Cousins, says that the kids crossed a line by not taking into account “cultural norms at the school” and, therefore, will make the incident a “teachable moment” by explaining to the kids where they crossed the line.  I agree with this course of action 100% and that’s where I wonder if I’m not parent material.  Maybe I should feel outrage, but instead I love that the kids were civilly disobedient.  They do still teach that, yes?  This is a classic example of that; no protests, no alternate dances at a barn off campus.  Just a good old article in the paper about how to make sure you don’t do the thing they said they couldn’t do.  Perfect.

As Rene and I discussed this in our early morning meeting she made this observation:

“…they could use it as a chance to discuss safe sex, proper behavior, all sorts of things instead of poking their heads in the sand and demanding someone be fired.”
Sounds better than Good Enough to me.


Oooookay, this is one of those examples of a picture being worth a thousand words. When I heard about this story, I thought it was absurd; parents getting up in arms over a little (in my mind) “close dancing? Absurd.

And then I saw the photo.

Oh. My.

Grinding has changed since I was a teen.

See, close dancing, grinding on someone, trying to cop a feel, I mean come on, that’s what teens do; this picture? That’s more like a how-to for future strippers. And the thought of my daughter or son in any of those positions is mortifying.

That’s not because I’m a prude or anything; I think we know that. But that, I believe, sends the wrong message about sex, sexuality and self-worth.

Having said that, I think asking for the teacher to be fired seems a bit much.

Okay, you’ve seen Ella’s take.. you’ve seen mine.. how about yours? What do you think about the story? Should the advisor be fired for allowing students to do this? Should parents be up in arms about the picture? How would you feel if your son or daughter was “grinding” in public?


More from GEM:

The GEM Debate: Prom, P.E. And Plan B… Should Kids Get THIS At School? (VIDEO)

The GEM Debate: LGBT Just Want To Have Fun, Too