9-Year-Old Suspended After Michael Jackson Dance

WINONA, Minn. (WCCO) — A 9-year-old boy was suspended last week after he mimicked Michael Jackson’s crotch grab during a rendition of “Billie Jean” at school.

Lenny Boberg was performing at a St. Stanislaus lip-sync fundraiser on Thursday and imitated the dancer’s signature move several times.

The principal, Pat Bowlin, then approached Boberg and his mother after the performance, allegedly saying it was inappropriate and the boy was now suspended.

Bowlin said Sunday that the story is not complete, but because of legal issues, he cannot comment beyond that.

He said he asked the Boberg family to meet with him at school at 8 a.m. on Monday to discuss the incident.

He also added they told the Bobergs to bring Lenny and have him “prepared to go to school.”

More from Reg Chapman
  • sad but true

    I think it is inappropriate for a 9 yr. old to do that. I understand it’s entertainment and duplication of what the entertainer did, but I wouldn’t want a 9 yr. old of mine doing that. But then again, I would’ve had conversations with him/her about it beforehand.

    • Chris

      4th grade and he is suspended for mimicking what he saw? Pat Bowlin is pathetic. There are much more responsible ways to handle this then display the schools leadership for a fool.

    • Randy Davis

      Actually I don’t think you do understand that it’s entertainment.

    • Ben Dover

      And it was inappropriate for M.J. to do it also. But anything to make a buck.

      • llp

        Sex has always been in entertainment only in UPTIGHT America is it wrong.

        • Richard Henkle

          I imagine in liberal Egypt it’s just fine though? Same with Saudi, UAE, and the rest of the muslim nations.

          My only point is that not only in America is it considered wrong. (which I don’t personally believe it should be)

    • anti bachmann

      wow i feel bad for your upbringing

    • sad but true

      ….but suspension seems a little harsh.

      • The Trend

        The school to prison continuum is starting earlier every year for boys.

        • Midge Martin

          “The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality” ~ H. L. Mencken

          —- http://911essentials.com

          • jbspry

            Mencken – wasn’t he the greatest? He saw all this bulls–t a hundred years ago.

          • sad

            Its insane to see all the stuff going on today.
            We are spending more time, focusing on this stuff then actually trying to teach the children.


  • Tom

    Whats next? The kid is 9…Jackson’s moves should not get him suspended…talk about over reaction much…holy…the kid is 9…move on !!!

    • Tom

      @ Tom

      Why are you surprised by this? This was a private school after all and this is the last place you should attempt something like this. This suspension would have happend in a public school as well. You just don’t crab your crotch in school.

      • freecheese

        “Be preparet for class on Monday.” Wow. One day off (Friday) from school !
        Pretty stiff. I’ll bet he REALLY learned a lesson..

        • jackactionhero

          What lesson should he have learned? That people in positions of authority are d.ou.che.bags who want to impose their will upon you?

  • Rediculous

    St. Stanislaus is a parochial school. That pretty much sums up why the suspension.

    • Jude

      All the power to the school – and WTH was “mom” thinking????

      • Sue Holman McCarville

        I might think a suspension is a little strong – but someone really needed to let those parents know that going forward – NO MORE GROIN GRABBING… of course this mother did just say that Michael Jackson was a good role model for children – so…. what can you expect?

        • jackactionhero

          And what is the harm in this gesture, as performed during a talent show reproduction of a Michael Jackson dance?

          Specifics are appreciated.

          • Mayhem

            Seriously dude, I mean wow dude…just wow dude

            That you have to be told the “harm” and require “specifics” is rather telling of your lack of character and general stupidity. The kid is 9, the talent show was held at a private school.

            Do you and your kid go out in public grabbing your crotches….afraid someone is going to steal them away from you?

            Wow dude, just wow…I mean dude….wow

            • Andrew P.

              Dude, wow, dude, wow, just, like, wow dude, wow wow dude dude wow like, dude, wow. seriously dude, wow.

              • Ted

                you must be a rookie in these forums….

                mayhem was actually mocking jackaction….”wow, dude”….its all he says in most of his posts usually after he insults another person to make up for his lack of intelligent responses.

    • Lea C.

      Actually there is so much more freedom at most parochial schools. Education is valued– children are not beat across the head to perform to a state standardized criteria for the benefit of only the school and teachers. I suspect there really is more to the story. He and his mother were probably advised in advance to leave the moves out. Most schools require pre-approval of acts for their talent shows. But leave it to the mom to go crying to the media with her story. She can save the tuition and send her boy to public school.

  • A. Busch

    It’s Winona,they’re usually all drunk anyway.

  • our great society

    so they do not like the ‘crotch it’ move. that has been around for how many decades? it is a sick gesture. but then our society is sick. I wonder what else he has learned musically that is not sick.

  • Notafan

    Good thing he didn’t do the “Beat It” dance moves, he’d be in jail….

    • Tom

      @ Notafan

      That is true! Good one though LMAO!

    • em0886

      lmao…no kidding!!

  • Bob from S MN

    Just wait for next year. They will do a take on Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson at the Super Bowl. A little wardrobe malfunction. Jeeze nine year olds acting like kids. And to think he got an approvel for doing this little move. Hmmmm. Just guessing maybe he did a little ad lib??

    • jackactionhero

      Are we taking bets on that, Bob? Because what you just said is completely absurd. Nothing like what you mentioned has ever happened, but you think it will if a 9 year old cups his package, eh?

      Time to stop the whippets, Bob. Join reality at your leisure…

  • Late Breaking News

    Reg Chapman moonwalks and grabs crotch during live TV coverage of Michael Jackson imitation investigation.

    • Real Talk

      Reg Chapman = Ollie Williams. LOL

  • alligator

    i submit that the principle acting in such capacity is “inappropriate” and should not be in position of authority when it comes to kids and decision making on their behalf……….the principle is who should be suspended or better yet terminated.

  • cls

    The fault falls on the school if they did not hold a screening before the show! I have held numerous talent shows in schools and as the advisor for the activity I am held accountable for each act, so I screen them. If the participants then decide to add to their act the responsibility falls on them

  • Joy

    I totally agree with cls! They should have screened ALL the acts. When I was in 4th grade, eons ago, my friend and I lip synced and danced to “Like a Virgin” by Madonna in the school talent show. NO one screened up before hand, neither did our parents ask us what we were doing. After the spattering of applause and the awkward silence that followed, my mom privately asked me if I knew what a virgin was. I said, “sure. It’s a flower.” Kids are mostly innocent that happen to be unknowingly influenced by the media. Parents need to supervise what their kids are watching and participating in, and schools definitely need to have a costume rehearsal for ALL talent shows to make sure the acts are appropriate. I doubt this kid had any idea what he was doing was inappropriate. He probably just saw Jackson’s movie or videos. I think the fault lies with the school and they should drop the suspension, then change the policy for future talent shows. This kid will look back at this event when he’s an adult, and either think it’s horrifying or hilarious.

    • Anonymous

      I agree. The responsibility of the school to assure appropriateness was absent.

    • lw

      I agree.

  • Reagan's love child

    He should have come out in drag and done a Lady GaGa bit. Now that would have been something to get up tight about or maybe…..

  • Kevins Priest

    So do I

  • Just a kid

    A kid that young doesnt even know what he’s doing. Sure the parents should have caught it, but you don’t ‘suspend’ little kids unless there is violence involved. Silly

  • mjk/anonymous

    Kudos to the principal for sharing boundries for what he considers appropriate, talent, & “entertainment” for 9 year olds in his school!! Actually, REALLY, what IS entertaining about that? Five years from now, is that REALLY the way this 9 year old kid wants to be remembered??? What’s next??? Will we have a 9 yr old girl with a “wardrobe misfunction”? Pat on the back to that principal for teaching the kid there are appropriateness & limits…. and, perhaps, the parents might realize there are boundries and limits too!

    • Crazy

      Dead on – funny how so many critique and ridicule schools for not “protecting” their kids from bad behavior of others, language , the lack of control in schools. Yet we got a group defending this? LMAO
      The world is full-up of idiots and hyprocrites.

      • me

        Nobody said the school shouldn’t have done something. In fact, I am pretty sure most people agree that this boy’s parents and the boy himself should have had a discussion…but to suspend a boy…now thats wrong. Perhaps the school should have discussed what was allowed and what is considered inappropriate also ..after all the boy is 9…he had no clue he was doing anything but a dance. it’s up the the parents and the school to educate and explain what is inapproriate. Soo yes…they should have had a SIT DOWN…but suspension is wrong.. I would have been different had he understood that is not an appropriate part of dance…it may have also been appropriate had he been bullying another student. But this is utterly crazy…it’s an excercise of power…not constructive discipline. Yes…have a sitdown but don’t suspend for this …geezuz. he’s 9 not 14

    • jackactionhero

      The story is not about the “what next” slippery slope, and that argument falls flat here, since there is no precendent suggesting there will “next” be a 9 year old girl stripped on stage. To suggest so is disingenuous and nonsensical.

      What’s entertaining about it is that it’s a 9 year old doing a goofy Michael Jackson dance. That’s really all this needs to be about.

      Or are you really arguing that if this is not punished, that next year it will be a donkey show… Get a grip on reality.

      • Mayhem

        Begining to think you enjoy watching this 9 yr old grab at his crotch area there, jackarse. you seem hell-bent on defending the move.

        wow dude, just….dude…wow, man, dude….wow dude

        • js

          Great comments idiot. Are you 9 yr old? wow dude, just….dude…wow, man, dude….wow dude.

          • ryan

            Even if mayhem was 9, he’d be much older than you.


      • Mary

        I disagree with you jack……..If you simply look at our country’s history you will see that the “slippery slope” IS a reality. 50 years ago the sexually suggestive dancing that for some reason (I’m still scratching my head on this one) is “acceptable” would have been quite scandalous and not tolerated. As time has gone by, more and more the standards of morality have further and further as to what is deemed “acceptable” by pop-culture, which I might add, does not include regular people in general. Pop-culture is made appear as though it’s what all of society thinks simply because the media portrays it that way. The downfall in our society’s moral standards has been orchestrated by the media alone, which is why this story has become so big. Whatever group is behind major media companies is very happy to see that a mom (and I use this term loosely) is supporting AND ENCOURAGING her son to be sexually suggestive. It’s a slippery slope because this just puts another notch on the belt of the downfall of moral standards.

        • jackactionhero

          You are so off-base it’s astounding.

          What moral standards are you referring to?

          Sexually suggestive? Again, you are just way off here. This boy was not being sexually ANYTHING.

          It’s not a slippery slope, and you’ve failed miserably in proving that it is.

          • Mary

            jack……you appear to be looking for a fight; you have responded to many comments on this page with insults to people instead of just stating your opinion. I did not insult you when I responded to your comment; I did not say you were wrong or failed miserably or that you are way off. I’m sorry but I do not continue discussions with people who stoop to insults instead of sticking to facts. And the only comment I can make is that the boy was trying to emulate Michael Jackson’s complete performance. Michael Jackson was being sexual suggestive when he grabbed his crotch during his performance. Therefore, the move of grabbing one’s crotch during this performance is a sexually suggestive move regardless of who’s doing it. Certain dance moves, no matter who does them, are sexually suggestive in and of themselves. that is a given and I think you know it. I’m done responding to your comments because they are aimed at the person, and not at simply the information being discussed.

            • Mayhem

              @ Mary

              jackarse is a moron who only goal is to argue and pick fights and adds nothing intelligent to any conversation. He’s done it on many other topics. He also lives in denial about the accusations that he insults others.

              In short, you cant argue with his ignorance

            • jackactionhero

              Your assumptions are once again off-base, as are your allegations of insults.

              Your analysis of this kid’s performance is also completely absurd.

              Again, I have to ask (I’ve given up hope for an actual honest response) what do you propose that you are saving the other students from by punishing this one?

              I’m not looking for a fight, and I’m not insulting anyone.

        • jackactionhero

          Complete this sentence:

          Allowing a 9 year old to dance like Michael Jackson should be outlawed and punishable by suspension for the child, and jail time for the adults who condoned it because allowing such behavior will lead to……………………………..

  • Tom

    @ Kevin

    Yes he did! And some of things he did with them were very stupid and the being stupi part is what got him in trouble.

    • jackactionhero

      Why was it stupid? Please explain.

      • Mayhem

        stupid things generally arent stupid to stupid people, huh jackarse?

        Sucks to be you.

        wow dude, just wow man, dude….wow

        • js

          Please shut your face, your ignorance is showing. wow dude, just wow man, dude….wow

          • ms


            ya, ok….”js”


  • Rockford

    The kid is 9. HE is only mimicing a dance. I have never been a fan of this move anyway but it is disingenuous for people to now be complaining of the move when no one said anything when an adult started it. The boy needed someone to talk to him about it rather than a suspension.

  • Bubba

    What happened to freedom of speech and expression? We can have statues with their junk hanging out and lots of paintings with T&A showing and its art. Dancing is also an art so what’s the difference? Suspension is a little harsh. I think a simple sit down with the boy and his parents would have sufficed.

    • Bubba

      Besides, what if he needed to adjust his junk or had an itch?

  • Kevin

    Michael Jackson loved 9 year old boys…..

    • jackactionhero

      You’ve found your common ground then…

  • TL

    No surprise some, if not most of the posters, on here blame the school for not “screening” the acts beforehand. The responsibility BEGINS with the parents – the school cannot expect to be “raising” everyones kids – thats what my tax dollars do in the form of welfare every 1st of the month.

    This mom should have “screened” her child’s act her damn self and been responsible enough to say “thats NOT appropriate, skip that part of the act, everything else is fine.” Although Im a bit surprised that a private school allows for that type of music (pop/rock, etc) in that setting but thats my own opinion.

    Suspension is harsh, use this as a learning tool to prevent future “misunderstandings.”

  • Doctor NO!

    Why are kids who are imitating adults the ones to be punished? Why aren’t those adults being punished? Don’t tell me that this kids parents didn’t know what he was going to do.

  • aBachmannFoster

    we practiced this every day at home….. Michele wasn’t very good at it but Marcus….he da MAN !

  • Sue Holman McCarville

    Will we encourage little girls to have wardrobe malfunctions next? HONESTLY!
    The principal is looking after that young man’s moral direction far more than his mother’s

    • Real Talk

      So in your mind. If the principal is looking after that young man’s moral direction (which i agree with) why wouldnt a simple conversation with the young man be enough? Why suspend him in your mind?

    • jackactionhero

      Really Sue? Is that what you think will happen “next” if this boy isn’t severely punished?

      When has that ever been attempted? Please use specific examples where a talent show led to a strip tease by a little girl. One example should be sufficient. Thanks.

  • Mary

    Where to begin……..First of all a Catholic school???? Really mom??? You think this is appropriate for your son to do AT ALL???? I ran the Talent Show for 11 years at a California PUBLIC school and that would have never been acceptable EVER!!!! What kind of message is mom sending to her son about standards? I am angry with the the school more than anything. What kind of message is the Catholic Church sending to the world if they back down on their standards simply because the world is putting the pressure on them…..This is one of the major reasons I am no longer Catholic; they continue to fail to do the right thing again and again and again…….ppfftttt!!!!!!

    • BaconEating

      Mom is part of that new fangled “change the church” group. They also support bigamy and open marriage in general.
      The junk grabbing is nothing – you really should check us out on Friday and Saturday nights. We really get shaking. The kids, under 12, are not allowed to participate.

    • js

      Part of the problem with the Catholic Church is people like your, afarid of your own shadow.

      • ms

        spellll chexer knot werking there, “js”

        time, I think, to reconsider getting that GED, don’t ya think…..genius dude?

    • jackactionhero

      Why isn’t it appropriate? Who is harmed by this gesture? What would become of people who saw this horrible atrocity anyway? Would they become street people or child traffickers? I don’t think you’re connecting cause and effect very well here, Mary. What exactly are you trying to protect us all from? (against our will, nonetheless)

      • Mayhem

        @ jackarse

        ok stupid, we get it…you see no harm and you wanna see more kids grabbin’ at themselves. you keep asking the same questions over and over, just wording it differently.

        You dont have a problem with it and you live by your own rules ’cause your a bad arse, good for you. Most people do have an issue with it. It just isnt appropriate. How is it that you cant get that?

  • justsayin'

    It is an assumption that there was no screening, and we know what that makes of you. When my child was in parochial school it is spelled out what was acceptable at school and or any function hosted by the school/church. Good for the principle for standing on principles.

    • js

      You really think suspension is a fitting punishment? If so, I hope you dont have kids.

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