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School makes changes to dance rules after national outcry

OGDEN – Stories from news outlets all over the country are making educators at one elementary school in Ogden make changes to a Valentine’s Day dance.  Some parents were concerned their children were being told they couldn’t refuse to dance when they were asked.

The concern that parents like Natalie Richard had was that kids were being told not to say “no” when their name was put on someone’s dance card.  Officials with the Weber School District say each student was given a card, and they could write down the names of any other student they wanted to dance with, and the kids were required to say “yes” if they attended.  Richard says the school has changed that, and now the kids can dance with whomever they want.  She says, “I like that there are no dance cards.  I like that there is no pairing of the students.”

Richard says the school and the district listened to her, and as far as she’s concerned, the problem has been resolved, adding, “I’m really happy that they took my concerns seriously, with the backing of the nation’s voice.  I think, if I wouldn’t have had all the backing, they might not have been so persuaded to change.”

However, there are other parents who say the school is getting an undeserved bad rap.  They say the rules were no different between the boys or the girls, despite what some national media outlets suggested.  They say there were also some boys who didn’t want to be forced to dance with girls, so, their parents made different arrangements with their teachers.

Other parents like Shae Bitton say the reason was to teach kids to be kind and learn how to dance when they attend middle school.  She says, “It’s not like they’re getting married, tomorrow.  They’re learning how to dance.”