Titusville, FL (Florida Today) -- Eight Titusville High baseball players initially suspended aftermaking an after-hours, on-campus version of the "Harlem Shake," dancesensation that was filmed and put online, will have to perform communityservice and other tasks before being allowed to play again, schoolofficials said.
This Internet craze, wherepeople create and post their own versions of the dance, has gottenstudents across the nation into trouble as they strip off clothes anddance wildly to the synth-heavy song of the same name in classrooms,gyms and locker rooms.
Thevideo of the Titusville athletes, including some wearing sliding shortsand Titusville Terrier shirts, garnered nearly 700 views on YouTubebefore being taken down.
"Thestudents were engaged in inappropriate gestures while wearing portionsof their baseball uniforms. They will have an opportunity to earn theirway back onto the team," said Michelle Irwin, spokeswoman for BrevardPublic Schools.
Thesuspensions drew the attention of other students who used Twitter andother social media to demand the baseball team members be allowed backon the field.
Followinga meeting with the players, the coach wrote a letter to parents notingthat they can only return to practice after completing a round ofcommunity service, cleanup duty following games and additional physicaltraining.
"Thishas been a difficult situation for all involved. I hope these young menwill learn from this and will be good examples from here on out for theyounger kids to look up to," Mark Lewis, coach of the 14-memberTitusville Terriers varsity team, wrote in a letter to parents that wasobtained by FLORIDA TODAY.
Andrew C. Steele, an attorney whose 17-year-old son was one of the students suspended, has seen the video several times.
"It'sno different than what you see at a Brevard school dance," said Steele,adding that a number of coaches were working in and around the school'sbaseball field at the time the team members were filmed near thedugout.
"Thesecoaches lacked the courage to inquire about what was happening, theygave a tacit approval of what happened," Steele said. "I feel that thecoaches that were there showed no character and did not step up to admitthey were there."
Lewis referred all questions to school district officials.
TheHarlem Shake is a three decade-old dance that originated in the NewYork borough where teens casually rhythmically snapped their shouldersside-to-side. The latest dance featured on the video is a looseadaption, with the first portion of the dance involving a person -usually in a mask or costume - initiating a dance that later involvesothers in various stages of dress during a 30-second music track.
InNew York City, a dozen high school hockey team members were suspendedand told they could not participate in the playoffs because they made ascantily-clad version of the video.
Thevideos have been made in subways, swimming pools, military bases, TV news stations, parks, stadiums, living rooms and as far away as Egypt and Japan.