Student backs dirty dancing teachers

ROSS ROMANIUK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:37 PM ET

WINNIPEG - The youngster behind the camera for Winnipeg's raunchy teachers video says the controversy over what she shot is way out of proportion.

Saigha Vincent, 14, said the two teachers in her "lap dance" video should not be severely disciplined for the steamy performance they gave last week at a students rally in Churchill High School's gymnasium.

The Grade 9 girl added the majority of pupils at the school agree with her.

"It's been a little over-exaggerated. It would be a good thing if they come back," Vincent said of the man and woman, whose suggestive display was caught by herself with a digital camera from the gym's sidelines, while pupils hooted and hollered.

"A lot of people want the teachers to come back. There are a few people who don't."

The male and female staff members are off work with pay while the Winnipeg School Division investigates the Feb. 17 incident, which occurred during what many have described as a "dance-off" among teachers during the "spirit" rally.

More than 100 students in grades 9 to 12 watched as the man performed a sort of lap dance for the woman, while she sat in a chair in the middle of the gym floor and laughed and played along.

The performance -- in which the man appeared to rub against the woman and simulate oral sex -- lasted about a minute.

Vincent's video, shot with a digital camera, has since gone viral online on Facebook, YouTube and other websites while generating intense controversy in Winnipeg and worldwide media attention.

Though many have called for the male and female teachers to be fired for an act they charge is too lewd for students, others suggest the man and woman have likely suffered enough, considering what's commonly seen online and on television.

"It's common. There's dancing stuff going on all the time, on dancing shows and that. I don't think it's that big a deal," said Tim Galay, Vincent's father.

"I don't think anything more should happen. It should be left as is."

Picking up son Zach outside the school, Michelle Unrau stressed the teachers should not lose their jobs.

"We all make mistakes," Unrau said. "You have to beware in this digital world, right? It's too bad. I think they were just trying to have fun, and try to be like the kids are today."

The school division gave no further comment on Wednesday, after saying Tuesday it expects its staff to conduct themselves responsibly.

However, trustee Mike Babinsky said the division's human resources managers will talk to "students, parents or other staff" before deciding the teachers' fate.

"You've got to beat the bush to find out what happened. There are all kinds of different ways this could unravel," Babinsky said, suggesting cooler heads should prevail.

"If you have a brand-new Corvette and some guy scratches it, your first reaction is, 'I'm going to kill you.' Well, you're not going to kill the guy. You're mad, but then you kind of work it out and make the best of a bad situation."

The Winnipeg Teachers Association, a union representing the staff members, confirmed the man and woman "have been sent home" with pay while the division looks into the matter.

WTA president Dave Najduch said disciplinary measures are possible, and range from "nothing to job loss, and everything in between."

ross.romaniuk@sunmedia.ca


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