9th-grade swim team members hire male stripper as a joke; school unamused

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines school district spokesman has confirmed that ninth-grade girls hired a male stripper to perform at their school’s synchronized swimming club’s annual banquet.

District spokesman Phil Roeder said on Wednesday that the Roosevelt High School principal will decide whether the girls violated school policies and punishment is merited.

A father of one of the team members says the girls employed the stripper as a joke, and that the stripper didn’t totally disrobe at Friday evening’s event at the Des Moines Social Club.

According to The Des Moines Register, Principal Kevin Biggs said said no club funds were spent on the purchase.

The Sharks synchronized swimming club is run and funded by students in grades nine through 12.

“They were doing it as a joke and a prank. They didn’t realize, as many 14- and 15-year-old girls and boys don’t, the ramifications of their decision,” Biggs said. “They thought it would be funny, and it wasn’t until things got going that everyone realized it wasn’t good.”

The stripper performed for about 15 minutes before a Des Moines Social Club employee stopped him and canceled the social, Biggs said. The stripper was never fully unclothed, and there was no sexual contact with any of the girls, officials said.

Roeder says a club employee asked the stripper to leave, deeming the appearance inappropriate for the students.

“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.”

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