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School board backs up Scripps High; won't overturn 'twerking' video punishments


Photo by NBC 7 San Diego

Still image from a video posted last week to YouTube featuring Scripps Ranch students allegedly twerking on school time. Dozens of students were suspended from the San Diego high school.

"Twerking" stole the spotlight at a San Diego school board meeting on Tuesday when parents and attorneys challenged the punishment of 31 Scripps Ranch High School students, asking for the board to reconsider suspensions and sexual harassment charges issued in the recent "twerking" video scandal.

AP reports that the school board says it doesn't have authority to overturn suspensions, only expulsions.

Students were issued five-day suspensions for making the on-campus video of suggestive "twerking" dance moves deemed in violation of district policy. It was unclear if the seniors involved would be banned fromthe prom and commencement.

UT San Diego reports on who wants apologies, who's accused of overreacting, how students are being treated, and previous school events that featuring twerking. As the school board dances around punishment, the issue of kids shaking their behinds turns into an issue of adults covering their own.

Superintendent Bill Kowba told San Diego school board members in a confidential memo earlier this month that he personally considers the video “a deeply offensive production with implications for lewd conduct, sexual harassment and gender victimization.

A subsequent letter made public Tuesday from the Scripps Ranch High “counselors and counseling support staff” criticizes trustee Kevin Beiser for given them a “lack of support” that has hurt the school’s image.

“If you and the board do not support the school’s decision to suspend, then we believe you are sending the students a message that they do not have to follow rules and that whatever they put online is OK,” the staff said in the memo sent to Beiser.

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