High school students' 'Harlem Shake' video banned

Harlem Shake video banned

BRISTOL, Tenn. - A video inspired by a national dance craze has triggered controversy at a local high school.

Tennessee High students Austin Taylor and TJ Flannagan co-produced their Viking version of the popular 'Harlem Shake' viral video, but some school administrators weren't happy with what they saw.

Bristol Tennessee City School's supervisor of curriculum and instruction Annette Tudor said, "The content of the video clips is what is at question. There were some things that were inappropriate in our opinion."

Tudor is talking about some of the dance moves and one student dressed in only a Speedo and motorcycle helmet. School officials were also concerned about students and teachers dancing on desks, which they say it is a safety hazard.

"I saw nothing wrong with the video; honestly I thought it was all done in fun. In fact, it was harmless and good morale for students and teachers," said co-producer Austin Taylor.

About 50 students and teachers all played a role in the three weeks of production for the video.

Taylor says he had permission from the school and now there's been a public outcry with many questions left unanswered. "Not only why they wanted it removed but how they feel they have the authority to have a student intimidated, which is my understanding that has happened here on removing their own personal work of art," said Sonya Helm, a mother of a participant in the video.

Karen Pruitt is also a concerned mother. "A lot of people thought it was done in good taste and I'm like the rest of them who don't understand," she said.

Supporters say this also involves the First Amendment. "We still have freedom of speech and I think that was infringed upon," said Pruitt.

Taylor says after he made the video private the community asked him to put it back up and many are saying they will fight the decision to take it down and they are hoping to be on the agenda at the school board meeting next month.

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