“I’ll Never Go to Another Dance,” Liahona, June 2013, 35
In our suburb of Chicago, Illinois, USA, fewer than 20 Latter-day Saint youth attend a high school of about 4,400 students on two separate campuses. We have been pleased with the education our son has received, and many good families with high standards live in our area.
In the spring of our son’s junior year, he was invited to a school dance. His date wore a beautiful, modest dress, and we were eager to hear how their night went. When he came home, he said, “I will never go to another school dance!” He said students had engaged in provocative dancing, which the administration did nothing to stop. I was appalled.
I am a part-time employee of this school district, and a couple of days after the dance I sought out a vice principal. He is a man of integrity, and I felt that he would listen to my concerns. He recommended that I write to the high school principals.
I prayerfully considered what to say and decided to tell them I was disappointed with the inappropriate dancing and that nothing was done to stop it. The bar had been set high for academics, so why not for all activities?
Several months passed, and I thought my letter had fallen on deaf ears. But one day, during back-to-school registration, a vice principal asked me, “Are you the mother who wrote the letter about the school dances?”
“Yes, I am,” I replied.
“I want you to know that your letter has caused quite a stir!” he said.
I learned that one of the principals wasn’t convinced that changes needed to be made until he asked a few students their opinion. Everyone had the same reply: “We will never go to another school dance! They are too disgusting!”
The administration then implemented rules of dance etiquette, which would be enforced during an upcoming homecoming dance. The principal informed students that they would be asked to leave if they disregarded the rules.
I anxiously awaited our son’s return from the homecoming dance. When he arrived, he said students who had tried to get away with the old behavior were removed. He said it was the best dance he had ever attended.
I wrote to the administration, thanking them for making this one of the best school dances in a long time. The vice principal I knew responded: “Thank you for starting that conversation last spring. Without your input we might not have moved forward in this area.”
I have since found out that most of the schools in our county are adopting these new dance rules, so thousands of students will now be able to enjoy school dances.
I pray that the Lord will bless all of us to find the courage to speak out and up for what we believe. I learned that one person can make a difference.