The synchronized swimming club at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa, made waves last week when it hired a male stripper to perform at an off-campus facility during a team banquet.
According to the Des Moines Register, a club member asked her older sister to order the stripper for the event, held at the Des Moines Social Club.
Phil Roeder, Des Moines public schools director of communications said that the idea to hire the stripper came from a similar incident the swim club had been involved with seven or eight years earlier.
The girls, freshmen 14- and 15-year-olds, who participated won’t face any punishment from the school, because they didn’t break any rules, school principal Kevin Biggs told the Register.
“They were doing it as a joke and a prank,” Biggs said. “They didn’t realize, as many 14- and 15-year-old girls and boys don’t, the ramifications of their decision. They thought it would be funny, and it wasn’t until things got going that everyone realized it wasn’t good.”
No club funds were spent on the performance, and no school employees were in attendance at the event.
The stripper performed for about 15 minutes before a staff member at the social club noticed him and stopped the event. Officials said that the stripper was never fully unclothed, and there was no sexual contact with any of the girls.
A spokesperson for the Des Moines Police said that the incident was never reported to the police. Biggs said that nothing the girls did was illegal, or even in violation of the district code of conduct.
“It’s not illegal. It’s immoral, in our eyes,” Biggs said. “But immoral doesn’t necessarily mean that students are going to face consequences such as suspensions, or something along those lines.”
Roeder said that the club, which had been run and funded by the students, will probably see more oversight into their activities.
"They are going to make some changes in terms of the oversight of this club," he said. "It's been operating with a bit of independence for several years. That independence probably needs to be reeled in."
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