BAGLEY, Minn. – A Minnesota mother is outraged after she said dance moves got her son and another teen suspended.
“We were not intending on anybody getting mad about it, we were just joking around and getting a laugh out of people,” Lucas Culkins said. “It was taken way too far.”
High school juniors Culkins and Travis Willberg are best friends, involved in school athletics and like to make people laugh.
The teens said they had no idea their dance moves at the Bagley High winter dance would have these repercussions.
“My friend picked me up and just held me like a baby and we were just walking around on a slow dance for like probably 15 seconds,”Willberg said.
School administrators weren’t happy.
Willberg and Culkins were suspended for what the school said was “sexually inappropriate behavior.”
“I asked for reasons why and they just kept on beating around the bush I guess,” Culkins said. “They would not give us a reason really, it seems like they were reaching for a reason to punish us.”
“We did the same exact thing in the previous year and nothing happened,” Willberg said.
Other students said they saw more inappropriate actions on the dance floor that went without punishment.
Student Lucas Olson said, “Everybody was laughing at them and having a good time. I saw a lot of kissing and groping on the dance floor but I didn’t see chaperons do one thing about that.”
Culkins’ mother Elena said she was shocked when she learned about the punishment.
Elena said, “I was…I was really lost for words and I thought, ‘You got to be kidding me, really? You’re kidding right?'”
She said she talked with school officials who told her the boys’ actions were caught on tape.
Elena demanded to see the tape but the school refused.
She said, “I would like to see that video then, ‘Oh absolutely not, that is against school policies and it is a violation of the other students’ privacy.'”
She and her son said they are most upset the school attached what they consider to be very serious sexual allegations on his school record.
But here is where the story takes a turn.
Chaperons allowed another boy to bring a blow-up doll as his date to the dance.
Olson said, “There were two chaperons and one school officer and right when they seen it they all started laughing. So they obviously knew what it was.”
Students said the chaperons and a school officer allowed the doll into the dance and even charged it admission.
Elena said, “It was utter disbelief, utter disbelief that my son could be suspended for dancing with a boy and yet a sex doll was appropriate for a school dance, a high school dance.”
It wasn’t until after Elena brought up the double standard that the boy who brought the doll as well as a few others who took pictures with it were suspended as well.
School officials did not want to comment on camera about the issue and won’t released the video of the dance.
Bagley Superintendent Steve Cairns claims the video contains “private educational data.”
Cairns released this statement:
“Bagley High School has a student code of conduct printed in the student handbook. If students choose to break those rules, while on campus or during a school sponsored activities, consequences may apply to them. Because of student data privacy reasons, we do not comment on specific student matters.”
In all, the school said it suspended six students for their actions at the school dance.