Earlier this week, St. Stanislaus Elementary School in Winona, Minnesota held their annual lip-sync fundraiser, which started out fine and dandy before degenerating into a scene of shock and horror, as nine-year-old Lenny Boberg reached for his groin area several times, emulating one of the late King of Pop's signature moves while performing "Billie Jean." As a result, St. Stan's principal (no, not John Lithgow) Pat Bowlin informed Lenny's mother Mindy during the event that her son's performance constituted "gross misconduct" and was grounds for suspension.
According to Mrs. Boberg, Lenny had innocently performed similar Jacko routines the previous two years for the event, and no eyebrows had been raised. Also, the Winona Area Catholic Schools' Parent-Teacher-Partnership had approved all acts during a Tuesday rehearsal. And Boberg was nonplussed about why her son had been singled out, when other students had performed in underwear or shaken their "tail feathers."
Once again, an uptight educator creates a controversy where one shouldn't exist, bringing undue attention to his school. On Thursday evening, Bowlin sent out an email titled "Thank you/apology" to WACS faculty, staff, and families. It read:
"On behalf of the Winona Area Catholic Schools, I would like to thank all the students, teachers, parents, and friends of our school for your support of our Lip Sync contest. So many people worked incredibly hard to make it a great event. We did have one act that was clearly inappropriate. I want to extend my apology for that situation."
Bowlin said he plans to discuss the suspension with the Bobergs on Monday, and presumably recommend ten "Hail Marys" and ten "Our Fathers."