New West charter middle school in Los Angeles held a spring dance for it’s students, but this time with an interesting little twist:
The blogger Marcy Magiera’s son is off to his Los Angeles area middle school’s spring dance this week, and to add to the usual angst — the girls on one side of the room, the boys on the other; the questionable lighting and décor; the too-loud music and hovering chaperones — the school has introduced a new element: a “V.I.P. lounge.”
For an extra $5 on top of the $15 dance admission, her son says, students get to hang out in the “V.I.P. lounge,” with a dessert bar and goody bags. “What’s next,” Ms. Magiera writes on her blog, BellaNoise, “bottle service? $10 for a jug of Coke maybe, served by a high-schooler in short shorts? While everyone else gets Capri Sun pouches grabbed out of a tub full of ice??”
There’s a part of me that’s with the parents on this — as a former middle school teacher myself I spend a few years on the front lines of the beginnings of clique culture where cool kids or rich kids first get their taste of what it’s like to exclude others from such high-falutin’ perks as lunch table seating and group project membership.
At the same time, as the middle school teacher who frequently got roped into DJ’ing my schools dances, there’s also the fact that there are really few things lamer in this world than a middle school dance.
Aside from the groups of kids stuck to opposite walls or glued to their friends around the snack table, there are also the eagle-eyed parents just looking for any hint of trouble, which inevitably brings out the terrified-of-lawsuits administrators who frown at any and all sorts of suggestive lyrics in songs, close dancing, or lights being anywhere but all the way on while 45 little kids circle around the one kid who knows a few dance moves do his thing.
Which means that with all this worry and overprotecting going on, that when you get right down to it the middle school VIP room probably is under a billion times more scrutiny than the actual dance itself — likely making it an even lamer place to be, regardless of how many of your friends are in there.
Of course, some parents are mad because all of this would seem to reinforce the idea that the rich or cool kids not only get all the breaks at school, but that the schools actually cater to them as well — an attitude that can create an unbalanced and unfair social structure that oftentimes seems all too real in our adult culture.
But let’s be real here — No matter how mad some suburban mom might get about his kid’s chances at a TV-movie like social life, the reality is that her child is probably somewhere in the corner mortified that she’s even making noise about something like this in the first place, which even if he was some sort of “cool kid” would immediately make him look like a dork.
Here’s this man’s opinion: Want to be the cool kid at your middle school? Blow off lame middle school dances and hang out with your friends instead.
At the same time I can’t help but wonder about the doorman keeping people out of this supposed “middle school champagne room”. — Seriously, how lame a gig did that have to be?
What do you think? Would you pay the extra $5 for your middle schooler to live the high life?