Scripps Ranch Students Suspended Over Twerking Video

Seniors involved have to appeal to attend prom or walk at graduation

Dozens of San Diego area high school students have been suspended and banned from prom or commencement because of a twerking video according to one parent.

The video, created recently by students in a media class at Scripps Ranch High School, shows teenaged girls twerking while doing handstands to a YG song.

Thirty-two students danced and one student used school property to videotape the group outside class during 6th period.

Later, the student used school editing equipment to add music and post the clip to YouTube.

As a result, all 33 students were suspended as of Tuesday through the end of the week the parent told NBC 7.

For those unfamiliar with the trend, twerking involves popping of the hips in a suggestive dance move. Singer Miley Cyrus recently posted a twerking video and talked about the move with Ryan Seacrest. 

San Diego Unified School District spokesperson Jack Brandais refused to comment on the suspension saying the district will not discuss student discipline.

Brandais forwarded the specific section of the district website regarding the suspension appeal process.

One Scripps Ranch HS student posted an update via Twitter, “Suspended, banned from prom, and prevented from walking at graduation all because of an awesome twerk video. I don't understand.”

NBC 7 San Diego spoke to one of the teenagers disciplined because of the video and he told us that may not be the case.

“The seniors involved are on senior review and have to ask for their prom and graduation back in front of a panel,” the teenager told NBC 7.

On Tuesday, another student posted on Twitter, "To show support for everybody getting suspended, we should all twerk at once at lunch #freethetwerkteam."

The Scripps Ranch HS student handbook specifically outlines its sexual harassment policy prohibiting “verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature made by someone from or in the educational setting.”

Students must sign a page in the handbook that states: “At Scripps Ranch High school there is zero tolerance for students who cause major disruptions at school or school activities. Any student who causes a major disruption will receive a five (5) day suspension, a possible new school placement and may be arrested.”

Seniors may be denied attendance at prom or walking at graduation if they have committed a “zero tolerance infraction” the guide states.

“I don’t think they should have gotten suspended. I think the filmers should have been suspended, but not the girls involved,” said senior Brooke Carlucci who was not in the video.

One parent who spoke with NBC 7 San Diego felt the school was not uniform in handing out punishment.

The mother said the school should have used this as a teaching moment to remind students that when a person is videotaped, he/she never knows where it’s going to go.

Another parent, Mark Silverman, said there was a need for more tolerance.

"I just think it’s not that big of a deal. It was just expression, maybe overly expressive I guess," Silverman said.

Ed. Note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified the students involved as members of the school's journalism class. We regret the error.

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