Citing Owen Labrie Case, High School Bans Regular Dances Effective Immediately

Superintendent Mike Morgan confirmed the indefinite hiatus for dances at Exeter High School on Wednesday

Every generation has a different way to dance. For high schoolers today, it's called grinding. Calling it disrespectful, a principal in New Hampshire has had enough.

"There's a lot of people that don't feel proud about the way the dances go here," said Exeter High School principal Jim Tremblay.

Saying the rape case against prep school student Owen Labrie, convicted of misdemeanor sexual assault, reinforced his concerns, Tremblay has cancelled all dances, effective immediately - the only exception is the prom.

"Overall, students are very angry about it," said student David Perreauld.

"For freshmen, it's a bummer," said student Kaylee Huot.

"The administration has found reason to cancel dances," said John Doyal, one student's grandfather. "I'm in favor of the administration."

School officials say they want a culture that's safe and respectuful, not sexualized.

"As a school, if you feel that something is making you uncomfortable, then it needs to be addressed," said Tremblay.

"We feel like we are being disciplined for actions that we have not taken," said student Leo Ganley.

Officials promise to find new social events and activities to take the place of dances - but some high schoolers are circulating petitions.

"I plan to get a few hundred more signatures," said Ganely.

But the principal says the traditional rite of passage has crossed a line.

"Maybe for a little while, dances have run their course," Tremblay said.

Contact Us