Dearborn High Students Start Twitter Campaign to Protest Homecoming Dance Rules

Students were upset over regulations on their dancing, as well as random breathalyzer tests at the dance last Friday.

A longtime policy of asking students to take brealthlyzer tests and imposing rules for behavior at school dances and events elicited a strong response Dearborn High School students, some of whom instituted a Twitter protest earlier this week.

The Twitter hashtag, according to the students, protested the rules at the dance. A Dearborn parent tells Patch that according to her son, that included random breathalyzer tests, lights left on during the dance, and a "no grinding" rule.

After the dance, the students took to Twitter to voice their opposition.

On Monday, the hashtag #OperationLetsDoThis began trending on Twitter—facilitated by Dearborn High students. The idea was to organize an in-person protest against school administration.

What follows is an example of some of the messages that were critical of the district:

  • Daoud_Unis2 United We Stand #DHS #operationletsdothis
  • BlakeRichards28 The administration is taking everything too far and ruining senior year. #operationletsdothis

It's unclear as of Monday night exactly what happened at DHS, but photos from the scene show what appears to be an impromptu gathering in the hallways of the school, in addition to the Twitter activity, throughout the school day.

After the fact, students said they expected some flack from administrators—while others were divided on whether the protest was a success, or a waste of time:

  • GinaSoave If there isn't any type of riot assembly tomorrow.. I'll be pretty let down. #OperationLetsDoThis
  • ernie6E waiting to see what happens at school tomorrow #OperationLetsDoThis
  • HollyNevine I'm all down for #OperationLetsDoThis but I don't think we should bully our assistant principal. I think it's time to chill out. Go to bed.
  • jenksEmily I had fun at homecoming and I don't bully over twitter, but I like that DHS is standing up for freedom of speech #OperationLetsDoThis

David Mustonen, the spokesman for Dearborn Schools, said the random breathlyzer tests were indeed conducted at Dearborn High, and that it's nothing new.

"This has occurred before at all of the high schools," he said. "The tests are voluntary—the students understood they could say no. But I would say that there are 1,800 students at the school, and the administrators are responsible for the safety of the kids while they are at school events."

The tests apparently were administered to seven students out of hundreds that attended the dance at DHS; all tested negative, Mustonen said. He added that police officers conducted the tests, and that administrators asked students who were perhaps behaving oddly to take the test, but that others were asked randomly.

Each of the three high school sets their own rules for dances and events, but their policies are similar, said Mustonen. 

Administrators are responsible for enforcing rules and setting the tone at their buildings, and often times, students may not like the decisions made by adults, said Mustonen.

"We have to remember that they are kids," he said.

Donna Hay October 11, 2012 at 12:31 PM
Why even bother administering beathlyzer tests if the students can refuse them?
AC October 11, 2012 at 12:35 PM
I see these kids have their priorities in order and know what is important and worth fighting for. Forget the fact that in a year or two you will be forced to pay out of control college tuition, or be saddled with exorbitant debt that will take you a generation to shed, assuming you can even land a dignified career job. In other societies, young adults of this age take to the streets to protest even a 1 or 2 % increase in tuition, or government attempts to increase the retirement age by one year. And our youth? They want to bump and grind.
Charles L Walls October 11, 2012 at 02:08 PM
There was a time, way back in my youth, when children were restrained, respectful and easily controlled with mild admonition. There was no need for heavy-handed controls from administrators. Skip forward 30 or 40 years...the society liberalized...kids get little, if any, guidance on restraint or respectfulness...or little of it takes hold...peer group mentality reigns supreme...it's not a real party if you can't get high or drunk...and so on... The harsh rules established by the administrators are only a reaction to the way the kids are expected to behave at the dance. Society has created the "monster", and now society (school admininstrators as agents of the taxpayers) are trying to control it with rules -- good luck! Maybe the best outcome would be for the schools to STOP sponsoring dances on taxpayer property with liability for damages and lawsuits being a taxpayer expense, and let the students and parents organize their own social activities outside the responsibility or the school system. Cry on, babies!
Charles L Walls October 11, 2012 at 02:26 PM
School dances originated long ago, back in the days when there were few occasions and limited opportunities for children to interact in a completely social way. No TV, no iPods, not much sports, long distance travel was a big effort. School dances were a big deal...a highly anticipated opportunity for all the boys and girls to get together socially. Today, social opportunity is EVERYWHERE. The school dance is such a non-event for the kids that unless it is made into an outrageously spectacular event of some sort, it will simply be boring for them. If the dance organizers can't make it "outrageous" enough, then some of the students themselves will create their own outrages, individually, by getting drunk and behaving or dancing in lewd fashions. Maybe the time of the school dance is past. Maybe its too late for schools to try to provide restrained social events for today's kids. The cats just don't want to go back in the bag.
R. EALLY October 11, 2012 at 02:45 PM
DHS leadership is out of control and the so called administrators of Dearborn schools... this will be the last homecoming at dearborn high that many students will go to, ... they should do their party at another location so they dont have to put up with the DHS crap, then parents of the kids can control their kids and administer the dance fairly...and DPS is not being truthful about what happened all they do is lie lie lie about the situation and what occured and then suspend students that disagree with their behavior on twitter. I thought this was a country of free speech..not at DHS, comply or be punished... I support the decison of more than 100 student to leave the dance... lets move on and have the party at a different location, and eliminate the unfair testing of students that were clean. They have gone over the line this time by testing certain kids with no cause... this is targeting with no cause....I totally agree that student that act or smell like alcohol shoud be tested and removed...but random testing that is "decided" by administrators, and not random,is not a viable solution, what if policeman pulled over evey 20 cars they saw teens in and with no cause at all and breathalized them.. there would be an uproar... if you are going to do this fairly, notify every student that they will be breathalized upon entry... as it seems they have no clue how to be fair! Everyone they tested was negitive??
R. EALLY October 11, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Doesn't this seem strange??? They can say it was random..but it was clearly targeted at certain students. Shame on DHS and shame on the Dearborn school system for letting each school decide what to do instead of instituting a policy among all schools... Get control of the schools and their individual policies. What if each policeman decided his version of the law.. and the police administration said ok.. you do what you want? Do you think that more than 100 student would leave a dance they paid for and wanted to go to and bought expensive clothes for would leave? Give me a break... the Dearborn school system is to blame by letting this happen. Do your job DPS, and get control of your administrators... pathetic. I would post my name but I am afraid my child would be considered an "problem student"
R. EALLY October 11, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Oh yeah, DPS wake up and get with the times this is not a 1950's sock hop, if you don't want students touching you are out of control, this is what happens at most if not all under age clubs, so if you don't want want to grow up with the world around us, just cancel the dances... and stop kids from holding hand kissing and hugging in schools... and breathalyze them if they continue... and why not breathalyze every student that is sent to the office..or let every teacher randomly breathalyze each student in their class.... hopefully this is not over and students and parent continue to question the DPS on their policies..
Amal Berry October 11, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Since when do the students set the rules? It's a school event, the school has every right to set the guidelines. The fact is there is underage drinking at these dances, and the grinding on the dance floor isn't proper for school age kids- and they are kids. I don't understand why parents wouldn't be in favor of the school trying to keep their kids safe with the breathalyzer tests, and keep them from obscene dancing with is not age appropriate (if there is an age for that kind of "dancing").You don't like the rules- don't go. Anyone who went to a prom or homecoming dance knows what does go on, so why the uproar over trying to maintain some control.
Pam October 11, 2012 at 06:22 PM
I wondered that, too. What a waste of scarce resources.
Allen H. Mallad October 11, 2012 at 07:29 PM
I volunteered to chaperone a school dance at DHS about four years ago, gratefully my son did not want to go, but I kept my pledge to be a chaperone. I must admit that I was appalled by the behavior of the students at the dance, I spent half the night separating boys and girls from dancing that I don’t even think you would see in a strip club, I could not believe what was going on, I told a couple of teachers what was happening and there answer was there is nothing we can do about it. Things are out of control in our society and the parents that condone this type of behavior should have their children taken away from them, those who condone this type of behavior have no morals, how can we teach are children to be god citizens and respect others when we let this type of behavior happen in our schools, have we no shame.
Amal Berry October 11, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Allen I couldn't agree with you more. I chaperoned my daughter's 8th grade dance-we're talking 12 & 13 yr olds. Unbelievable. I couldn't believe what some of the girls wore, or rather didn't wear. We were separating girls from boys every 10 mins, We'd see a whole group forming only to find one girl surrounded by a group of boys, and there she is grinding away. Is this the message we want to send to our kids Just because times have changed doesn't mean morals have to. The fact we're in the year 2012 isn't an excuse for questionable behavior. Only lazy parents aren't bothered by their kids' behavior.
Charles L Walls October 11, 2012 at 08:19 PM
Sadly, such behavior is what the kids see as the norm on TV, and in the movies. There is no longer any form of real restraint or control that is considered "politically correct". Any form of public criticism by any public official will be branded as racist, or not politically correct by our overly liberalized culture. So officials keep quiet out of fear of reprimand or dismissal or litigation or worse, and the brain-dead parents take this official backing-off as a signal that if schools and administrators and politicians are not going to criticize such behavior, then the weak-willed parents are not going to make themselves the bad guys either. And once the slippery slope is established, things are all downhill from there.
R. EALLY October 11, 2012 at 08:22 PM
If any of you think that this is not going on with your kids in other non school functions that you do not see have your heads in the sand.. really do you think that your kids only do this at school dances... they learned to do it behind your back, whether you accept that or not, just like many drink behind your back at non school functions.... and I can tell you one thing I have seen over and over through the years, most parents that I talk to that don't think their kids would ever do these things and try to "shelter" them from the real world end up with some of the wildest kids I know when out of their parents view. Get real, most kids "experiment" with things that would blow their parents minds. I in NO way condone the things they do...but believe it or not...most are doing it without your knowledge. This is the world that unfortunately we live in. You need to teach your kids right from wrong and monitor them adequately, but in the end, just like when we were young, they make their own choices. Im sure most if not all of us did things that their parents did not condone in the enviroment you grew up in. Please don't be surprized when you see this going on in front of you because I guarantee that what they are doing behind your back is much worse
DearbornGuy October 11, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Ummm, BT ... perhaps it is best if you don't post your name, because your "parenting skills" probably have produced a "problem child," as you state. "if you don't want students touching you are out of control, this is what happens at most if not all under age clubs..." doesn't make it right. Remember the old line our parents used to say: "Are you going to jump off the bridge because all the other kids are doing it?" Perhaps you did jump. Kids are not mature enough to be in control. Parents are meant to "parent" them.
R. EALLY October 11, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Allen, no good parent condones this activity, but when they do it behind your back and out of your knowledge, should they be taken away from you, and you as a parent be labeled as "non-moral" parents? If this was the case, from my knowlege of "good" kids with "good" parents these days, 80% of kids would be homeless! What are you going to do.. try to beat the kids into submission? Becase if you, as even a parent take it to far, YOU will be the one that ends up in jail. No good parent condones this behavior, but it happens with good parenting or not... welcome to the 21st century, and it is not just in the US, I travel alot, and I see this all over the world, except where you can beat or kill your kids if the parent deems their behavior unacceptable... if that is what you want to live with, move to one of those countries
R. EALLY October 11, 2012 at 09:00 PM
As I have said I don't condone this behavior in anyway, but if you don't think kids you think are 'good" are not "jumping off the bridge" behind your back, you are a parent that has your fingers in your ears, your eyes shut and are speaking nah nah nah nah, "I don't see you or hear you" And that would make you a problem parent, get a grip on reality, condoned or not it is happening even if you want to deny it is with your kids or your neighbors "good" kids.
R. EALLY October 11, 2012 at 10:16 PM
So all you Good moral parents with what you think are always good moral kids that would never do anything you didn't approve of answer this...if you brought your kids up with all the proper parenting and taught them right from wrong and monitor them and tell them about right and wrong situations and how to act or control tehm...what if this happens.. you adequately trained child decides to have a couple drinks one night and mistakenly decides to drive home, and gets in an accident and kills someone...and goes to jail . You do absolutely all you can, but in the end regardless of anything you taught them .. kids make bad choices sometimes just like adults, does that make you a bad parent.... certainly not... or the smart honor roll student that decides I had a couple so im going to let Joe drive home.. and joe hits a tree and your good, morally brought up child is killed...does that make you a bad or inadequate parent?? AGAIN I DO NOT CONDONE OR SUPPORT AND OF THE KIDS ACTIONS, but to blame the parent and call them bad parents is hopelessly wrong, and you as parents should be ashamed you feel that way. Since most wont give you an honest answer now...wait 10 years and ask your child, how old they were when they first drank or tried drugs, or kissed, bumped and ground, or had sex...just be sitting down when you ask because you sheltered parents will faint at the answers
Kk October 12, 2012 at 12:23 AM
I'm a student at Dearborn high and it's Funny you guys have none of your information right. The protest over twitter was About our assistant principal going on all of our twitters and saying things to us students about tweets that had nothing to do with school or any way of Harming school. The dance had set people off but it was the main reason. Second, that picture is from the seniors last year who had a senior prank and danced to music, there was absolutely no type of riot what so ever. No chant or anything. A senior from last year posted that to show they were a 'better class' and numerous people thought it had just happened. Before writing a column find out what the real reason is and information that is accurate. Students wanted to be left alone and not questioned about there personal life that their parents could deal with. It was a a joke that ended up huge and proved a point.
alliemarie October 12, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Actually what most students are protesting is not all of the rules but more that our assistant principal follows us on twitter and confronts students about their weekend activities that he only knew about from watching all the students and their posts. Many students feel violated by this. This article is not accurate. Also the picture shown was from a previous year.
jannon October 12, 2012 at 04:17 AM
If you guys don't like being followed on the internet...then why put it out there to be seen?
jannon October 12, 2012 at 04:23 AM
Moreover, considering that you are all on Twitter at school is a huge concern. First, you're clearly not paying attention. Second if you're making fun of other people at school while you're at school then it is your VP's issue. He's just trying to keep everyone safe. Your Twitter account is an extension of your being. If you're using it at school, you should be punished for it at school. SO glad we didn't have Twitter when I was in high school 10 years ago!
Allen H. Mallad October 12, 2012 at 12:03 PM
I was only talking to the parents that condone the behavior of the students at these dances, my oldest is 44 years old and has confessed of a couple of things in his teens that I was not happy with, but thank God none of my four children have caused me to disbelieve in them, all kids experiment in their lives the question is to what extent, that’s where our input counts, I have experienced situations with my younger one that I never did with my older children, but my resolve was never wavered, I’m was talking to the people that see no harm in what I witnessed at the dance I chaperoned, and do not give me that stuff about other countries. I live and was born in America and our morals need help here, TV, internet, and all the things that our shaping the morals of our children need attention from us as parents, even though we cannot be with our children 24 hours a day, we must be relentless efforts to shape our children lives, and teach them right from wrong, this is what parents do even in the 21st century.
R. EALLY October 12, 2012 at 02:10 PM
I agree Allen, I'm just stating that repremanding your kids in other countries is acceptable, it had nothing to do with you or any other person. I do agree that the morals in this country and I am sure probably across the world need to improve, and the parents are the ones that start that process. Infortunately we cant control the media, and that is what effect our kids the most. It is tough in this day and age for most parents because usually both work and have less time parenting their kids... it is a very hard time to raise with children to the point where they get to adulthood with morals intact, but we must keep trying. Again I don't condone any of this behavior, what I didn't expect is for people to be suprised by the actions of our children in this 21st century, but parents cannot just believe that their kids are good because they are taught good morals, many just as when I grew up duped their parents and "sinned" in their lives outside the parents knowledge. My point is parents open your eyes to society today, and don't assume because your children are raised morally that they are not acting different out of our control...
R. EALLY October 12, 2012 at 02:10 PM
It happens all to often, I don't know what the solution is. But, I do know that many parents that assume their kids are good and they are not. If they do this at a event, where administrators and parents are watching, you know it is worse when they are alone, but these kids choosing to do this on their own, dosent make us bad parents. Certainly there are parents out there that are bad parents and they spawn problem children that try to influence the good kids. Bad parents should be ashamed, but good parents that have done all the right things should not be blamed for the immoral actions of their parents, the good parents should contine to try to turn around their kids, but even sometimes with the best upbringing, sometimes chidren just do their own things.
R. EALLY October 12, 2012 at 02:12 PM
sorry the comments below I beleive are posten upside down and the second comment should be first...the first comment says I agree allen
Nickel October 16, 2012 at 09:57 AM
@alliemarie, what is twitter? It is a form of social media where you write about yourself, others get to read it. If you don't want the AP to read about your weekend happenings then don't tweet! Doesn't get any easier than that.


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