SDUSD Will Not Reverse Twerking Suspensions

Scripps Ranch HS suspended 31 students for sexual harassment April 30 after suggestive video was posted to YouTube

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Parents of Scripps Ranch High School are hiring attorneys after the school board chose not to overturn punishments for a controversial “twerking” video.

    Parents spoke at Tuesday’s meeting of the San Diego Unified School Board to intervene, but the trustees refused to act.

    Two weeks after the video clip showing students dancing suggestively led to 31 students being suspended from the North County school, the board considered whether to step in and remove the punishment from the students’ records.

    However, the board president came out of a closed session and read a statement saying basically it's not their place to overturn suspensions handed down by SRHS administrators.

    Staff Slams School Trustee Over Twerking Video

    [DGO] Staff Slams School Trustee Over Twerking Video
    The staff at Scripps Ranch High School discussed a twerking incident involving students in a letter addressed to a school trustee. (Published Tuesday, May 14, 2013)

    Board members said it's not within their jurisdiction to overturn suspensions per California Education code. School discipline is left up to the principal.

    Many parents worry that having to disclose a "sexual harassment" citation on applications will hinder their chances of admission into top schools.

    School board trustee Scott Barnett issued a statement Monday asking the principal to rescind the suspensions, saying he believed the punishment did not match the crime.

    "It could cause significant damage to a student's academic future, possibly harming their ability to get into their college of choice," Barnett wrote in a statement.

    He also said the students should apologize for their participation.

    Attorney Ruth Hargrove represents one of the juniors who appear in the “twerking” video.

    “What I think my client wants is an apology. I mean it'd be a great lawsuit… we're suing you to demand you apologize,” Hargrove said.

    Another parent who didn't want to be identified says now she's forced to hire an attorney to try and get her daughter's record wiped clean.

    “It could be $20-30,000. That's money we were supposed to put towards college,” the parent told NBC 7 San Diego.

    First, parents will file an appeal.

    “Absolutely. We will. There's nobody that's not going to appeal. Everybody is moving forward with that,” the suspended student's mother said.

    “My client wants to go to college. She wants to go to Stanford. She wants this off her record so that she can go there and stop thinking about this and she can move on,” Hargrove said.

    As for the seniors involved, all are able to go to prom and walk in the graduation ceremony. Initially, the school threatened to take those privileges away.