A North Carolina mother is livid after her son was suspended for dancing during his middle school chorus concert (video below).
Katie Brown recorded a short video of her 12-year-old son Kai dancing on stage while the Heritage Middle School choir performed "Jingle Bells" on Nov. 30.
"I had a little jingle bell in my hand and I was swinging it around and doing my head like this -- swinging it," Kai told WTVD, demonstrating his dance moves.
In the video, Kai's dancing is subtle, but Brown says Kai's dancing became more visible later in the performance.
"We were like: 'Wow, that's something that Kai normally doesn't do,' because he usually has a lot of anxiety in front of people," Brown told WTVD. "So for him to do that it just really lightened our hearts and we just enjoyed it."
Brown was shocked when Kai came home from school the next day and told her he had been pulled out of chorus class on a suspension. While serving the punishment, Kai was reportedly required to write a letter of apology to his chorus teacher.
"My first initial reaction was to laugh because it was so absurd," Brown said. "It was just ridiculous, the punishment that came down the line for that. After that, I was angry. It just didn't fit the crime, if enjoying yourself is a crime. He's a kid. He's 12."
A spokesperson for the school system told WTVD the punishment was appropriate because the concert was for a grade and was considered a classroom setting, where disruptions and distractions can be punished.
"They said it was very disturbing that I was dancing, that I was stealing the focus from other kids who had tried so hard and practiced so hard," Kai said.
It is unclear if Kai's suspension will affect his grade.
Comments on the video of Kai dancing showed differing opinions on the appropriateness of the punishment.
"I'm sure the teacher gave out rules before the performance and he decided not to listen, so yes being punished for breaking the rules is right," wrote one commenter. "The kid wasn't really dancing he was just acting silly. My son is in band and I know for sure they have rules and a dress code before each performance. They practice way too hard for someone to act silly while they are one stage."
"Are you kidding?" wrote another. "I had to look for the kid. He's barely moving. Sometimes people just look for things to cause trouble about. Get over it!!!"