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Harlem Shake Video Made in School Causes Stir

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

CARROLL COUNTY, Tenn.- School officials in Atwood said dozens of their West Tennessee high school students are in trouble for shooting a controversial video in class and then posting the evidence to YouTube.

The video showed an entire classroom of more than 30 students who were doing the Harlem Shake, a dancing sensation that involves impromptu dancing. The Harlem Shake videos have swept the internet over the last few weeks. Many think the video made at West Carroll High during school hours is more inappropriate for the teens, than the average Harlem Shake video.

"I was a little shocked that it was made in our school building during instructional time," said West Carroll Principal Lex Suite. "The legality issue as I see it and according to my council is you have children here, juveniles here that were filmed without their parents consent."

So far the students involved have not been suspended. Principal Suite said they will be disciplined. Some students from the video told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News that they had their breaks taken away and are expected to write a one page essay on "When It Is Acceptable to Question Authority." School officials said they are disappointed in their students and most of all teachers who were in the classroom when the video was made.

"I am just speechless. I really am, that that would go on in our school," said resident Diane Ziess.

Principal Suite said the video did not reflect all of the students at West Carroll. He fears more serious consequences could come about for whoever keeps posting and re-posting the video.

"The school is there for education not to make provocative videos to go on YouTube," said resident Joel Smith.

The opinions are divided. Some parents whose children were in the video told WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News their kids were just having fun and making memories.

"I didn't see anything wrong with it, memories in the making, " said parent Tonya Long. "They could be doing worse things like drugs, fighting, it could be worse."

School officials would neither confirm nor deny if their teachers had been reprimanded. Principal Suite said he hopes that this incident can be a learning experience for both students and teachers.