'Harlem Shake' suspensions reduced, charges dropped

6:39 PM, Feb 25, 2013   |    comments
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MOUND, Minn. - Mount Westonka High School has reduced suspensions and charges are dropped in connection to the making of an online video.

Initially, the suspensions were for two days, but were dropped to one after a group of students made their version of a Harlem Shake dance video.

Additionally, several students received citations and their criminal charges have been dropped.

The Harlem Shake is the latest dance craze to sweep the internet and YouTube, but trying to replicate it landed students in trouble at Mound Westonka High School on Friday.

Mound Westonka High School Principal Keith Randklev said students in a television production course watched the Harlem Shake in class and got the go ahead to replicate it as an assignment.

But Randklev said when they recruited students to dance in the lunchroom, their version went too far.

Some students were suspended, including six seniors who missed a sectional playoff hockey game as a result. Mound Westonka was rated second in their section and had to sit the seniors, which included their starting goalie.

KARE 11 obtained cell phone video where things look a bit chaotic, as students danced on and around a lunch table, but the students said it only lasted 15 seconds. Parents question if it was enough to warrant a suspension.

"As much as they took away for the hockey players the ability to play that game and ultimately ended their season," said parent Blake Smith. "They can't take away this and the boys being out here on the ice and just having fun as a group of kids."

This afternoon, suspended hockey players and some of their teammates played a pick-up game of "floor ball" on a cleared area of ice on Lake Minnetonka.

"We appreciate all the support everyone in the community has given us," said student Hunter Smith. "Everywhere we go we have people coming up to us saying, 'We support you guys. We're sorry this happened.'  I'm glad we have the support of the community."

Supporters will be at a regularly scheduled school board meeting on Monday night.  The meeting's are usually held at the community center, but due to the expected turnout will be held at Mound Westonka High School at 7 p.m.

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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