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Mt. Lebanon High School students warned about bad behavior before dance

| Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 9:42 p.m.

Mt. Lebanon High School officials are warning students that drinking, drugs and suggestive dancing are forbidden at the Snowball Dance on Feb. 9.

Following a homecoming dance marred by sexualized “grinding” on the dance floor and multiple students cited for underage drinking, high school students, their dates and their parents must sign and acknowledge new, stricter rules before they buy their tickets. That includes a ban on grinding and a warning that police will be on-hand with portable Breathalyzers.

According to a message Principal Brian McFeeley sent to parents Tuesday, “several changes will be in effect for this dance and future dances to help ensure a safe, welcoming and behaviorally appropriate dance setting for all of our students.”

McFeeley declined comment to the Tribune-Review.

According to the letter and permission form students must sign before buying their tickets, sexually explicit dancing — “including grinding and back-to-front dancing” — will result in immediate expulsion from the dance, with no warnings, and the possibility of being barred from future dances.

The district's reaction to grinding after the Oct. 13 homecoming dance garnered national attention, especially after a student sent a letter to Gawker.com complaining that it was harmless.

Backpacks, bags and purses will be searched before students enter the Snowball Dance, and pockets will have to be emptied.

At the homecoming dance, Mt. Lebanon police cited five students with underage drinking. A 16-year-old girl passed out on the dance floor shortly after the dance began, requiring emergency treatment at St. Clair Hospital and Children's Hospital. Police believed the students had consumed alcohol just before entering the dance, so the booze would take effect after they had passed the teachers and officers watching students at the door.

Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or msantoni@tribweb.com.

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