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'R-rated performance': Perry parents frustrated over music played at middle school dance

The title of the song is too graphic for 13WMAZ to say on television or online. You can hear students yelling the lyrics, including explicit language, over the music

PERRY, Ga. — Dozens of Perry parents are furious at the Houston County School District.

They say the district allowed a DJ to play inappropriate music at a middle school dance.

A parent sent 13WMAZ's Molly Jett this video to show you what happened on August 19th.

Hundreds of students having fun at a "Welcome Back to School Dance."

13WMAZ blurred the video for the 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. newscast because we wanted to protect the identities of the underage students.

Most families wouldn't think twice about sending their kid to a middle school dance. 

"My kid had a great time at this dance. I've got plenty of pictures and videos of him having a good time," Casey Freis said, but then, he found a video on his son's phone that raised some concerns.

"I have no problem with rap music. It's 'Super Gremlin' and 'FNF' that crossed the line," Freis said.

Freis shared an unedited version of this video on his Facebook.

Within 72 hours, his post had more than 800 shares and dozens of comments.

"They pretty much had an R-rated performance. It should not be sung at school. There needs to be boundaries and they were crossed. People just stuck their head in the sand," Freis said.

The DJ played a song called "FNF."

The title of the song is too graphic for 13WMAZ to say on television or online.

In the original video, you can hear students yelling the lyrics, including explicit language, over the music.

"It's absent of all logic. My kid or any kid can't stand up in class and say the things that were said at that dance. Our kids cannot wear the same clothing that was wore at that dance. I mean, if girls wear leggings to school, they have to wear shirts to their knees. Boys have to have shorts to their knees. The rule makers threw the rulebook out the window. It's not right," Freis said.

Some parents were just as upset as him, and others like Amy Dixon, not so much.

"Well, the music choice was edited. The children choose to use the unedited words; and I'm under the impression that it was cut short as soon as the teachers and administrators found out what was going on, and they talked to the DJ and it was resolved. For me as a parent, I mean, our kids are going to hear and see things all over the place," Dixon said.

Perry Middle School Principal Heath Burch says as a parent of middle-schoolers, he understands. 

"I have three kids, two of them of which go to Perry Middle School and were at the dance, so I understand why parents would be upset. I do. From the parental perspective, that's not something we promote at school or at my house, personally. We want to make sure those same values that we have at Perry Middle School we have at our extracurricular events and everything else that we have also, so to the parents, I am sorry. I can make this promise, we are going to do everything in our power to make sure this doesn't happen again," Burch said.

He also says the version of the song played was censored.

"We had a lot of adults there. We were moving around making sure the kids were safe. Unfortunately, some lyrics were played that we don't want played at our dances; and it's something we don't promote during the school day; and to the parents, I want to say I am sorry. We are going to do everything we can to make sure this doesn't happen again," Burch said.

Nearly 500 middle-schoolers attended.

There were 20 chaperones, some of them were Perry Middle School teachers and administrators.

"A lot of times, as parents, we see stuff on social media or stuff that's shared, and we don't see the whole video. We get an assumption of what the one video is and not know exactly what happened, maybe after the video was cut short. I feel like we maybe should've figured that out first, I guess you can say, before we all got in an uproar, Because, I mean, I don't like the choice of the children using that language, but I do support our school. I feel like they're done everything they can to fix the problem. Like I said, I love Perry Middle School and I think it's a mistake made and something we move forward from," Dixon said.

"Little bit different if it was high school, maybe, but it is our job to lead and teach these children," Freis said.

Burch says the DJ has played music at their dances before and they never had a problem, but he says that DJ will not be back.

"I can't give you the business name, because this was volunteer. These DJs actually perform for free. They were giving their time and resources to perform down there, so we did not pay them anything to come, so I can't tell you they have a business name. I know they do DJ on the side. They do not charge the school system," Burch said.

"The DJ is not innocent. He or she knew the words of the songs that they were planning, but the buck stops with the administration. They are the people in charge of protecting our children; and if parents want to let their children listen to it, that's fine. That's up to them. I don't agree with it, but it is not something you bring to school," Freis said.

"As far as the music being played going forward, we are going to do a better job of me sitting down with whatever DJ I choose, make sure we have a common understanding of what censored music we allow, whether it's censored or not, we still need to stand up and make sure we have a clear understanding on what should be played during school dances, around our children. We'll come up with a song list. I am going to find DJ that'll give me a list of songs; and I am going to share those with our students. I have already gone through the process with my school council. I am going to share it with them. They're going to go through it and then we are going to share it with a group of diverse parents to make sure everybody is OK with those songs at our next dance," Burch said.

Freis says he plans on attending the next school board meeting.

"I was hoping people would hold the administration accountable. Kids face a lot of things that we didn't have to face as youth -- fentanyl, school shootings every other week, a lot of problems. It can easily be addressed to maybe 11-year-olds singing songs about jacking cars. School needs to be a place of sanctity, discipline, and education. I feel as though there is going to be enough people at the board meeting to address it," Freis said.

13WMAZ asked Houston County Director of Community and Student Affairs Jennifer Jones if any school staff was being disciplined.

They said, "We cannot discuss personnel matters. However, we are currently reviewing the incident to determine what specific actions needs to be addressed and how we can improve our procedures moving forward."

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