Community Reaction to PHS "Harlem Shake" Video

By: Jillian Risberg Email
By: Jillian Risberg Email
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UPDATE: 3-12-13 10:43 p.m.

The Wood County Board of Education voted to suspend Parkersburg High School teacher Jesse Young without pay for his role in the Harlem Shake video WTAP told you about last week.

The video was posted online and featured Young and several students dancing inappropriately.

Superintendent Patrick Law says that suspension could be extended to 30 days, as the investigation into the incident is ongoing.



UPDATE: 3-6-13 6:58 p.m.

Community members from around the valley weighed in on the teacher's actions surrounding the "Harlem Shake" video. None of them wanted their faces shown or their names given on camera.

The video isn't sitting well with the Wood County School District.

They say it's not so much that the teacher and students made the video, it's what they did during the video. We've blurred out the part showing teenagers dancing in a sexually explicit way.

"If he was going to do it he should have done it off of school property 'cause now he's probably going to get fired, but they shouldn't fire him," says a local teen.

Dance may be part of the curriculum in gym class but another teacher (not employed by PHS) thinks the video crosses the line.

"I thought it was inappropriate for a gym teacher to be filming them," the teacher says. "I mean, if it's just used for personal pleasure then it's very inappropriate."

Suspension or termination...opinions differ.

"If the teacher really did this, I feel that they should send him down the road," a community member says.

The video was supposed to be fun, but the key question is whether it was appropriate.

"Who was involved, they should not being doing that" another community member says. "They know right from wrong."

Not only is the "Harlem Shake" craze everywhere, it's also turned negative in some cases, as it's getting people fired now.

"I don't think it's a big deal; he was just trying to have fun with the students, and Parkersburg South did it so I don't see what's the big deal for PHS," another teen says.

It's possible some people really do care.

"Maybe it is just some kids were jealous because they didn't get to do the video and that makes them feel like they're less attractive than the ones that were in the video," another community member says. "The teacher should've did his homework and made sure that what he was doing was gonna be okay before he did it."



A "Harlem Shake" video taped at Parkersburg High School is being called inappropriate by school administrators, and the video made its way straight to the web.

It was a gym teacher at PHS who taped the video all in fun. But school officials aren't laughing.

"We did receive a report on Friday that there was a video on a You Tube like site that involved a teacher at Parkersburg High School and perhaps some video that would be considered questionable and in poor taste," says Pam Goots, principal of PHS. "We are looking into that. At this time nothing has been done; we're still in the investigative stages."

Goots says they know the teacher who was involved but have not yet decided on disciplinary action.

Until that happens and is acted on by the board office, she says confidentiality requires they don't release the teacher's name.


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