Milford High School Students Suspended for Filming 'Harlem Shake' Video at School

Several Milford High School students are suspended after shooting videos and posting them to YouTube.

A group of Milford High School students have been suspended for making their own version of the "Harlem Shake" video and posting it to YouTube.

While the Oakland Press reports at least 30 students were suspended for five days, Patch could not confirm the information. 

Kim Root, Huron Valley Schools director of communications and community relations, confirmed that students were suspended but could not be specific on the number of students nor the specific types of discipline that were received.

According to Root, there were actually two videos that were shot at the school and posted to YouTube, but one of the videos has been removed. 

"The students in question violated several areas of our student code of conduct and with increased use of social media, we felt it was very important to hold students accountable for their actions and that's why these decisions have been made," Root said.

The videos included vulgarity and indecency, which violated the student code of conduct, Root said. 

"In one of the videos - the one taken down - included racial slurs," she said. "And the video that remains on YouTube, as far as I understand, has the use of a live animal in it."

Animals are prohibited in Huron Valley Schools unless they are service animals.

Nicole Pilchowski wrote on White Lake-Highland Patch's Facebook page that she doesn't agree with the district's punishment of the students. 

"We get mad when kids do kid stuff," she commented. "We get mad when kids act like grown ups. These kids can't win! Seriously. They were just kids being kids, and I think that school has bigger things they ought to be worried about."

Do you agree with the district's decision to suspend the students involved? Tell us in the comments.

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Laura Vogel February 25, 2013 at 06:58 PM
The "survey" that the district wants parents to take is rather telling (see http://whitelake.patch.com/articles/lakeland-high-school-parents-asked-to-complete-a-caring-community-survey). I agree, we seem to be sucking all of the fun out of everything, and correspondingly making the consequences of garden-variety hijinks and knuckleheadism into severely punished offenses for little demonstrable benefit. God help us all if we had faced the zero-tolerance state that our kids are faced with. Is suspending (and sometimes expelling) students over every little thing really the right answer? I say not. Completing your education is even more important today than it was when we were kids. If you want to reinforce the importance of e.g. not accidentally damaging classroom furniture in the course of filming a ridiculous spoof video, then have them clean the rooms and help repair furniture. Make the punishment fit the crime, and stop making the punishment a gross overreaction to the crime.
Lori February 25, 2013 at 07:52 PM
The school makes the rules. They have a right to enforce the rules that they make. Kids can get together somewhere else and shoot the video. Or they could have presented their idea to the administration first, gotten approval and then shot it at the school. This would teach them more about what real life is like, which is to actually get permission to do things.
Laura Vogel February 25, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Not disagreeing at all, Lori, that the was a "teachable moment" there. I'm just suggesting that suspending dozens of kids is not a punishment that fits the situation is all. The answer to everything is to suspend and/or expel. There is hardly any proportionality anymore.
Gerry S February 26, 2013 at 03:46 AM
The kid is humping a live duck. They are lucky they weren't expelled.
Bob February 26, 2013 at 03:05 PM
I suppost it would have beem OK if these kids were black.
Laura Vogel February 26, 2013 at 03:24 PM
What is worst of all, of course, is that this story has gotten "legs" and has gone national in the news. If the response had not been to summarily suspend dozens of students, I just wonder if Milford H.S. would have made the national news. The other issue, of course, is whether these same kids making the same video but not using a classroom (like perhaps using someone's garage or basement that was mocked-up to look like a classroom) would have generated the same response. And the other question left unanswered is how an entire room full of clearly extremely loud duck-bearing students had complete unsupervised "run" of a classroom building to be able to film in the first place. I can't believe it took only three minutes to film, for example. What else is going on in the building that the administrators at MHS are failing to supervise? Putting the blame solely on the KIDS fails to hold the adults accountable for their actions/inactions.
Victoria Benzvi February 26, 2013 at 05:03 PM
I think they have made way to much out of the whole Video thing! INSTEAD, they ought to SUSPEND DOZENS OF TEACHERS ... And take a closer look at the Person who is suppose to be in charge of the school! The kids had run of the school. the classroom? No one was supervising these kids .. They got a duck in the school ... They are failing to tell the truth of the matter .. or look at the PEOPLE who are really at fault! V. Benzvi The live Duck was a little much ... My question is .. How did they get the DUCK into the school? Unnoticed? Then Take over a class room, and make a Video?
Laura Vogel February 26, 2013 at 05:27 PM
A friend of mine, offline from here, just had an excellent "punishment fits the crime" suggestion: since the kids wanted to make a viral YouTube video, require them to make and post a video highlighting the risks of pulling hijinks in an unsupervised classroom. Just a suggestion. Point remains that the over-reaction of the administration (summarily suspending dozens of kids) brought way too much attention to something that could have been handled in a much more (pun intended) adult manner. And, by the way, several of the suspended girls are now being cyberbullied on Twitter about "why don't you just kill yourself then". Nice. Why this talk of killing one's self? Because having a SUSPENSION on your school record basically harpoons your chances of e.g. going to UM. So otherwise college-bound kids are being told that their college aspirations are crushed. Probably, yes, an over-reaction, too (I would hope colleges don't shun any kid who has a suspension, seeing as suspensions are handed out like Chicklets apparently). But point being, the adults blew this into a spectacle and are now nowhere to be seen and are leaving the kids to take the full heat. Is the lesson we want our kids to take away is that they should trust no one in authority to exercise fairness and common judgement?
Highland Resident February 27, 2013 at 01:16 AM
Schools generally do not send a press release out when kids are suspended. I do not think the adults at the school blew this out of proportion. It is very evident by looking at the companion story and reading the social media posts included, that the only reason this "story" has any traction in the press is because some of the kids involved, or their parents, went to the media to complain and get their 15 minutes. The posts in the companion story seem to indicate that certain kids involved are excited they are being mentioned in the press, or being called for an interview by local radio, or trying to get the "story" mentioned on SNL. I think the suspension was fair - not even taking into account this second video people keep forgetting about which was reportedly worse. Actions have consequences. However, there has not been any talk from the District about investigating why the teacher left those kids unsupervised. Based on the story that is the only reasonable conclusion. The teacher should have some punishment coming as well, and the school community should be made aware of what it is. We don't need to know the name of the teacher - just like we do not need to know the student's names - but a statement is needed about investigating and punishing the actions of this teacher (if they broke district rules by not supervising students in their classroom after hours). Again, actions have consequences.
annie February 28, 2013 at 06:49 PM
The punishment,if this is the word you think is correct, is not to place blame on the supposed teacher responsible for the "young adults", but rather place responsibility of this poor judgement of making the video, solely the responsibility of the students parents. Enough of everyone taking a punch at our dedicated teachers and staff. When parents have no control over the consciousness of their kids, their moral compass is to blame. When will parents take accountability of their own children? Enough of the finger pointing to the educators.
steve johnson March 01, 2013 at 12:57 PM
It must be a slow news week in the country, change the name of the dance and nobody would even notice. The Kids got their 15 minutes of fame and for ever recorded. Remember these are the FUTURE LEADERS OF THE COUNTRY, this is what the future state and federal goverment will look like. The next thing the schools will have a class on how to make a film to put on y-tube and get college credit for it.


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