H.S. Hockey Players Protest ‘Harlem Shake’ Punishment
MOUND, Minn. (WCCO) – Though Mound Westonka High School has reduced their punishment, a group of hockey players who were suspended for recording a dance in the school cafeteria say they’ve already lost something that can’t be recovered.
In addition to the six hockey players, nine other classmates were suspended because of their video version of the “Harlem Shake” dance video that has gone viral in recent weeks.
Now, parents are demanding their punishments be wiped from their records.
According the Minnetrista Public Safety Department, the Feb. 22 dance got out of control and students were allegedly pushing each other and throwing food. Afterward, several students were suspended and cited for disorderly conduct.
But on Monday, Kevin Borg, the school superintendent, requested that charges no longer be pursued. As a result, all charges were dropped.
Additionally, Keith Randklev, the principal of Mound Westonka, said that the administration decided to reduce the punishment from a two-day suspension to one day after reviewing the incident.
However, the six hockey players who weren’t allowed to play in their team’s playoff game Friday night say it’s not enough. They feel like the punishment cost them their season, as Mound Westonka lost to Blake in the sectional quarterfinal.
Some of the players and their parents feel the administration rushed to judgment and say the students had permission from a teacher to make the video for a class project.
On Monday night, they plan to attend a regularly scheduled school board meeting and ask for an apology.
“It was shocking. We couldn’t ask why, just really couldn’t get our side of the story to them and they felt they had situation under control,” suspended hockey player Charlie Curti said. “But we disagree.”
Randklev said he can’t get into details or won’t give specifics as to what the students did that violated school policy, only that they did.
“We don’t take decisions like this lightly,” he said. “I’m a parent. I know what it’s like to see opportunity lost and care deeply about those involved.”
In addition to the suspension, the students also received citations from police for “riot-like behavior.”