A compromise like that would be fine with Rob Rzeczkowski, the young principal of St. Kevin School. “We do the best we can to keep things under control,” he says, but he acknowledges that today’s popular culture is hitting kids like a fire hose. “Every year we take a leap in accessibility to the world around us. There’s not a lot we can do to stop that, I’m afraid.”
We watch teens having sex on prime-time TV. We put our eight-year-olds in vampy Halloween costumes. We take our 13-year-olds to Victoria’s Secret to shop for birthday presents for their friends. But we’re shocked, shocked, when kids start grinding in middle school. As the kids would say: Whateverrrr.
And whatever anti-grinding scheme the principals come up with next, it won’t have much effect, other than to make them look like every sputtering, impotent school principal in every Disney movie. Grinding will become passé eventually, but don’t hold your breath. “It’s just so accepted among students,” says Bravacos of the Conestoga Spoke. “It’s a chance for girls to break out and guys to … act like pimps, I guess. And there’s this expectation that what happens on the dance floor stays on the dance floor.”
To them, dancing is all about performance. Appearances to the contrary, it’s not about interaction. The dancing may be sexualized, but it’s not really sexual. It’s more like landing a bit part in “Glee.”
As for my daughter, what exactly did she do at the St. Kevin School dance? I don’t know, and I don’t think I want to know. I just hope she didn’t get freaky-deaky — or else we’re moving to Morocco.