High school students in Des Moines, Iowa, sparked outrage when they hired a male stripper to perform at their swim club banquet.
“They were doing it as a joke and a prank," Roosevelt High School principal Kevin Biggs told the Des Moines Register of the female students that hired the stripper. "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.”
The stripper reportedly performed at the Des Moines Social Club for around 15 minutes on April 8 before an employee stopped him and canceled the event. The stripper was never completely unclothed and never made any inappropriate contact with the students.
No school employees were present at the event, and the incident was never reported to Des Moines police.
“So, not knowing the circumstances, there's no way we can know if anything illegal occurred,” Des Moines Police spokesman Sgt. Paul Parizek told the Des Moines Register.
“This year, the freshmen girls, as a joke, made a bad decision and hired a male dancer,” parent Graham Gillette, whose daughter is in the swim club, said. “A parent supposedly was there, but didn't realize what was going on."
Gillette confirmed to The Associated Press that the stripper didn’t disrobe at the event and was asked to leave shortly after the performance began.
Gillette told the Des Moines Register he was happy with how the school handled the situation.
“It was just teenagers making bad decisions,” he said. “These freshmen thought that it was going to be funny, and they found out very quickly that it was the opposite."
Following the incident, the school district made the decision to place the club and its finances under the control of the activities department and pay the supervisor with school funds. A new set of guidelines will also be implemented.
“This is a black eye on the club, but they raise a tremendous amount of money for charity every year,” Biggs said. “They do a lot of great community service work and that’s what our seniors are most proud of, and yet this has taken over the news on the eve of their pageant.”