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PRESS RELEASE

Dance Cards
Monday, February 12, 2018

Each year, many of our elementary schools host a sixth grade Valentine's Day
dance. Participation is voluntary but encouraged. Leading up to the event, students
are taught certain styles of dancing like line dancing as part of PE, and these dances
are incorporated into the Valentine's dance. Prior to the dance, all students receive
instruction on proper etiquette and what's to be expected of them if they choose to
participate.

To encourage participation, students are given a dance card. This card has a certain
number of lines on it where names can be written down. Students are instructed to
select classmates to dance with and to write their names on the card. Half of the
selections are girl's choice and the other half are boy's choice, and students can't
dance with the same person more than once. Students are also told by their teacher
that if a classmate asks to be on their card, they should be polite and respectful, and
agree to dance with that person. This applies to all students regardless of gender.
The purpose behind this is to encourage more interaction between students and to
promote an atmosphere of inclusion.

Recently, a parent contacted one of our schools with a concern about her student
being told they should say yes if asked to dance. Although these dances have been
taking place for many years, it does raise some questions about the rule and the
instructions that are given. We certainly understand the concern and would never
want to promote a mindset where students don’t feel like they have the option to say
no.

In the best interest of our students, we are re-examining the procedures surrounding
these dances and will make any necessary changes to promote a positive environment
where all students feel included and empowered in their choices. We have advised
our schools to eliminate any sort of language in the instructions surrounding these
dances that would suggest a student must dance with another student. Although we
still want to strongly encourage inclusion, kindness, and mutual respect, we feel this
change will be of greater benefit to all students who choose to attend these dances.

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5320 Adams Avenue Parkway


Ogden, Utah 84405-6913
Phone: (801) 476-7826
Fax: (801) 476-7893