Should Students Be Allowed to Say No to Dancing?

Kaitlyn Wilburn, Writer

At a Utah middle school there is a new rule enforced by the principal where the students aren’t allowed to say no when asked to dance at school dances. This problem arose when 11 year old Azlyn Hobson came home after an in-school dance and talked to her mother about the discomfort of not being able to say “No” to dancing with a kid she is uncomfortable with. Azlyn’s mother, Alicia, complained to the school about how it upset her daughter. The principal then told Alicia, “There have been similar situations in the past where some students have felt uncomfortable with others, and the issues were discreetly handled. This allowed all students to feel “welcome, comfortable, safe, and included”.

In my personal opinion, I disagree with the principal for many reasons. For starters, this defies the idea of consent because she is saying that you can’t say “No” to something you aren’t comfortable with, which should never be okay. Another reason is that it values the idea of inclusion over comfort and safety because it is saying that people should feel welcome and included and that students can’t say “No” if they are uncomfortable. Even though the point of the rule is to create friends and to make students feel included, it completely ignores the concept of consent and feeling comfortable with the people you are interacting with. At the end of the day I think that the principal should retract the rule for future dances.

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