Cleveland Homecoming: Pretty In Pink

By Allie Montgomery, Sports Editor

Someone put Baby in the corner because dirty dancing is no longer a social norm at Cleveland dances.

After making international news two years ago for a raunchy homecoming consisting of grinding, both consented and non consented, and sexual assault, that resulted in the cancellation of Winter Formal, Leadership decided it was time for a change in dance culture at Cleveland. Last year, the decision to postpone homecoming until a later date was made in order to find a way around the bumping and grinding that homecoming entailed. With a required consent form and the occasion to dress up, it seemed that this could solve all of the problems they faced before.

Fast forward to this year: Leadership is told that there will be a dance after the homecoming game that they have to put together. This idea was clouded with two challenges. How would they be able to pull off a dance that would be safe and fun? They were also concerned with the fact that homecoming is less formal, and therefore could lead to more “casual” dancing.

“We had to really push through to get it the way we envisioned,” said Student Body President Terrance Phal. “We were focused on the setup because we believed that the setup was crucial and important in how the dance was going to be.”

The internal struggle faced when a student reports their boundaries being crossed at school dances is an issue not to be taken lightly by the Cleveland population. At Winter Formal last year, Leadership partnered with the Raphael House, an organization that protects survivors of domestic and sexual abuse and their children, to create the original consent forms. Within the form, students learned the meaning of consent, as well as what is expected at dances. These forms were to be signed by both the attendee and their guardian before purchasing a ticket, and any student who breached the rules detailed within the form would be removed from the dance. Since this change last year provided a positive outcome,

Leadership decided to require the consent forms again.

The students were excellent at the dance,” said principal Ayesha Freeman. “I was really pleased to see the consent forms and the acceptance to talking about these issues.”

After ensuring that the safety aspect of the dance would be covered, Leadership moved to get the students involved and excited about the dance. “We also want the dance to be about students, so we have put posters up to get song suggestions from the student body to pass on to our DJ,” said Leadership teacher Eric Mirsepassi. The DJ was put in the middle of the dance floor to help with overcoming the grinding epidemic.

With these changes plus a generous amount of volunteers, the dance was able to be both safe and fun. “We had a lot of people show up, which made it great,” said Phal, “It was an amazing night.”