Since Downey had their annual Homecoming dance October 23rd, students couldn't go anywhere without listening to media coverage regarding what many considered a typical and harmless high school requirement: dance contracts.For as long as anyone could remember, a contract was always a part of the deal when purchasing tickets to Homecoming, Sadie Hawkins, Winter Formal and even Prom. So, when major news networks such as ABC and CNN and newspapers like the Los Angeles Times ran stories regarding the contracts, it was greeted with confusion and shock from students. "To be honest, it surprises me that it's such a big deal since we all complete [the contracts] with no problem, no questions asked," said senior Hope Gettler. "I thought every school had one." The contracts are rather cut and dry, easy enough for students to understand why the need to fill them out in the first place. Photo identifications are required upon entry of the dance, no profane language, and the possibility of being searched are all clearly detailed in the contract. In addition, drafters of the contract explicitly request that dancing in sexual means be prohibited. Many students, to some surprise, are happy to oblige. "It shouldn't look like students are acting sexual on a dance floor," said senior Dominique Diaz. "There should be some level of censorship at the school dances." The use of the dance contracts has become such a routine at Downey that many students actually find it quite laughable that reputable news outlets have spent so much time to cover it as a story. Many argue that with major issues such as the H1N1 vaccine, school budget cuts, and the economic nature of our state, that there might be more important things to talk about. "It was just very weird because, it's just a dance contract," said senior ASB member Serro Park. "I believe that keeping [dances] appropriate is perfectly normal for a school event. It's not that news worthy." With the overwhelming amount of students that attend such dances and sign the contracts multiple times throughout the year, one must wonder what was all the fuss about? The dance contracts seem to be an extremely effective way regulating behavior at dances. In what can be thought of as an overblown story, students are welcoming of the dance contracts and haven't had any heavy protests against them. But while they are not generating massive objections, there are still a few who don't agree with them. "There are always the ones who don't follow the rules," said Hope Gettler. "And those are the ones who get caught."
********** Published: November 20, 2009 - Volume 8 - Issue 31