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Suggestive dance lands Winnipeg teachers in hot water

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
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Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

WINNIPEG -- Two teachers at a Winnipeg high school were sent home without pay after a parent complained about the way they were dancing in front of students at a pep rally.

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A video, taken Feb. 17 at Churchill high school, shows students giggling, gasping and screaming as the teachers dance in the middle of the gym.

It shows a female teacher leaning back in a chair, her arms thrown back behind her head, and the male teacher bobbing his head near her crotch and thrusting his bum near her crotch.

By the next afternoon, students were spreading a minute-long video of the dance amongst each other on Facebook. Monday afternoon, clips from the video were aired on CBC television.

Some students and parents were aghast at what the teachers were doing.

"It looked like, dare I say it, sex on the dance floor," Heather Mason, 17, told CBC Manitoba. "Stuff kids shouldn't be seeing. I was shocked. I don't expect anything like that from teachers."

"They so, so crossed the line," a parent whose daughter showed her the video last week told the Winnipeg Free Press. "It embarrassed me. While we were first watching it, I said, 'they crossed the line.'"

Many students thought the stunt was "gross," but one teen said all the hubbub over the video is overblown.

"At first we didn't realize what was going on," a student told the Winnipeg Free Press.

"Once the kids started screaming, it was like, 'oh my goodness.' I just think the joke went too far. I think they should be talking to them, but I don't think they should be suspended. I understand its a serious thing, but they didn't mean to hurt anyone."

School trustee Mike Babinsky watched the video and said he thought the behavior was "totally inappropriate."

Babinsky told CBC Manitoba he felt the video showed "a form of sexual conduct which would be inappropriate to do in a public area, not just in a high school area."

He also told CBC that both teachers have been sent home without pay but have not been officially suspended.

"You can't just look the other way in situations like this," he told the Winnipeg Free Press.

"By the same token, if you were to turn on the TV, within the next hour you'd find something similar to that on a music station. Society is sending mixed messages," he said.

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Pioneer staff reports
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