Second video of lap dance uncovered
No answers offered as to why staff didn't step in immediately
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 25/02/2010 (4554 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A second video has been posted on You Tube showing the infamous lap dance at Churchill High School from another angle.
The video is much clearer than the original video of a male teacher performing a risqué lap dance with a female teacher, who is seated in a chair. That initial video which surfaced Tuesday has made headlines around the world.
The entire clip was shot during a school spirit week event last week in the gymnasium.
There are still no answers about why staff at Churchill High School didn’t immediately step in to stop the performance in front of at least 100 students, or why it took two days for the school to take action.
"We expect everyone to abide professionally," Winnipeg School Division chairwoman Jackie Sneesby said Wednesday. "This is a very rare situation."
Sneesby said the division can’t comment on personnel matters, but said it’s investigating the dance and the future of the teachers in the video, who were suspended with pay Friday.
"They’re young and they made a mistake," said school board trustee Mike Babinsky.
"I have six kids and I wouldn’t want any of my kids there."
Students at Churchill High School said the dance performed by the two teachers at a Feb. 17 pep rally was clearly planned.
It was supposed to be part of a teacher dance-off, where four teams of teachers competed as part of the school’s spirit week.
"Everyone else was dancing and then they just stopped and watched, but it was super funny at first and then it went way too far," said Taelan Johnston, 16, a Grade 11 student.
Taelan described how phys-ed teacher Chrystie Fitchner pulled up a chair and sat down. She and the male teacher, who the Free Press has been unable to identify but students said is new to the school, then began their risqué routine. The female teacher throws her hands back as he straddles and grinds against her, and then pretends to perform oral sex. Students said she even "paid" him with fake money.
"She was shoving money down his pants," said Jayme Wallen, a 15-year-old Grade 10 student. "They just got carried away."
The dance, students said, lasted for about a minute and a half, while other teachers looked on, judging the competition.
"They lost points," Grade 9 student Erin Adey confirmed, and they didn’t win the dance-off.
Even though students said they don’t think the principal was present to witness the act, there was eventually some intervention after a minute and a half of dancing.
"They (the judges) did stop it, because they were like ‘Oh that’s enough, that’s enough. You guys are done,’" said Taelan.
The cellphone video was circulating on Facebook by the afternoon.
The principal only became aware of the video when a parent showed it to them on Thursday after their child brought it to their attention, said Babinsky. The principal suspended the teachers as of Friday.
Taelan said the teachers were at school Thursday, but were gone Friday and haven’t been seen since.
Students at the school learned quickly about the incident, while Babinsky said he’s frustrated neither he nor other trustees were informed until the following Tuesday afternoon.
"I had no idea this existed," he said. "If there was a teacher who created a scene you don’t want them in the population of the school." Sneesby said she didn’t find out about the incident until Monday, and said it’s unclear what will happen to the teachers until the investigation is carried out.
"Based on (the investigation), we will ensure that their rights are protected," said David Najduch, president of the Winnipeg Teachers’ Association. "This particular incident will play itself out."
Najduch said he can’t comment on the individual situation, but said he plans to inform other teachers of the issues surrounding the incident in the weeks to come.
In a school system where the line between teacher and friend is sometimes blurred, professionalism is first and foremost, Najduch said.
"The function of a teacher is not to be a friend," he said. "It’s to be a professional, there as an educator."
For now, Sneesby said they’re following procedure and letting the investigation run its course.
Code of professional practice
The Manitoba Teachers’ Society code of professional practice includes these points:
A teacher’s first professional responsibility is to her or his students.
A teacher acts with integrity and diligence in carrying out professional responsibilities.
A teacher speaks and acts with respect and dignity, and deals judiciously with others, always mindful of their rights.
A teacher’s conduct toward colleagues is characterized by consideration and good faith.
A teacher makes an ongoing effort to improve professionally.
Updated on Thursday, February 25, 2010 12:41 PM CST: Adds second video discovered