Teachers under investigation after pep rally lap dance
Published Wednesday, February 24, 2010 8:35PM EST
Two teachers who took part in an eyebrow-raising simulated lap dance at a high school pep rally in Winnipeg last week have been told not to report back to work.
The one-minute dance, caught on video by one of the 100 students at the Churchill High School rally, shocked many of the students, who say the teachers went too far.
One of the teachers was male, the other female. Both could now lose their jobs because of their sexually evocative performance.
The video shows them dressed as a cheerleader and a football player, and they remain clothed. The female teacher is seated on a chair with her legs spread as dance music plays.
The male teacher approaches her between her legs. He then straddles her and gyrates his hips. He bends over, while she slaps his bottom, his hips bouncing to the beat.
They then take it one step further.
While the female teacher throws her head back, the man dips his head down between her legs and simulates oral sex.
Several other people were participating in a dance competition on the gymnasium floor while the would-be lap dance unfolded.
Students at the rally, who ranged in age Grade 9 through 12, are heard on the video cheering and screaming "Oh my god!" One student sticks her head in front of the camera and says, "Now, that's wrong!"
"They're not setting a good example if they're going to be doing that," said Shayne Lanting, a student at the school. "They tell us what to do, almost like what's right and what's wrong. If they're breaking what they're saying it means nothing to us then."
"My jaw just dropped when I saw her dancing," said another student, Lena Shepherd. "But I thought it was kind of funny."
The video was taken with a cellphone last Wednesday and was loaded on to Youtube under the title "Two Teachers, One Chair." It's been viewed more than 50,000 times. Winnipeg School Division trustees caught wind of it earlier this week.
School trustee Mike Babinsky said the pair should be fired.
"This type of conduct has actually crossed the line," Babinksy said, calling the dance "inappropriate for a school setting."
The teachers are not identified in the video, and neither has commented on their performance.
They have been suspended with pay while the school division decides whether to take disciplinary action. Officials could suspend them without pay or they could also be fired, providing their dismissal was approved by school trustees.
The division released a statement saying it expects "respectful and professional conduct from all of our staff at all times." Officials would not comment on the case otherwise, describing it as a confidential personnel matter.
Manitoba's teachers' union said only that it would "assist the teachers through the process," according Pat Isaak, the union's president.
It's not known when officials will reach a decision regarding disciplinary measures. Babinsky said teachers who get into trouble on the job are sometimes paid until the school year ends, at which point their contracts are not renewed.
"That way, they (don't) get fired," Babinsky said. "But they'll never work again."
With a report from CTV Winnipeg's Kelly Dehn and files from The Canadian Press