Perry Hall High School Soccer Team Suspended For Victory Dance

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A celebratory dance lands one high school soccer team in hot water and costs them the chance to play in the championship game.

Gigi Barnett explains parents are outraged.

It’s called “The Bernie”– an on-the-field victory dance after a game-changing sack, score or point.

So when the Perry Hall boys soccer team did it this week after kicking a winning goal against Dulaney High School, parents from the opposing team complained, calling the dance lewd, inappropriate and unsportsmanlike behavior.

Perry Hall’s principal George Roberts quickly suspended the varsity team, shutting down the season and blocking all chances for a trip to the championship.

“Two more games and they’re state finalists, two more games,” Roberts said.

Now Perry Hall parents and students are outraged. Students say they’ve done the dance before.

“We done it against Sherwood and it has not been a problem until now against Dulaney,” said Christopher Winter, a Perry Hall soccer player.

Roberts says “The Bernie” may be allowed on the NFL field, but it’s the wrong gesture for high schoolers.

“Engaging in those celebratory dances that they see Ravens players doing, professional soccer players doing, that’s just not something that we consider,” he said.

But Perry Hall parents hope an e-mail from Dulaney High’s coach could have changed the principal’s mind.

In it, the coach says that some of his parents may have wanted retaliation because they lost, that he saw the dance on YouTube after the game and found that “The Bernie” may have been misconstrued.

“They made a mistake and thank you Dulaney coach for sending the e-mail and stepping up and admitting that you’re wrong,” Vinnie Magliano, a Perry Hall student’s parent, said. “The man said it the right way.”

But Perry Hall’s principal isn’t budging. He said he considered other punishment options like community service and Saturday school. None of those will do and he stands by the suspension. What’s more, the school headquarters does too.

The regional semi-final game is Friday afternoon.

More from Gigi Barnett
  • angela

    If they were told not to do it previously and they chose to disregard those rules, then they should be reprimanded in some way. However, if the kids had no idea that they shouldn’t be doing it then you can’t punish them. I am so tired of encouraging our kids to reach their potential just to be shot down.. IT happens all the time w/ academics too. Come on Principle Roberts… get a life. Reprimand them or talk to them but don’t be this extreme. What is it getting you other than a team that could now care less about their school.. how pathetic

  • angela

    NOTE- I purposely spelled ‘Principal” incorrectly.. Our’s always told us that we should remember how to spell the word b/c we always had a ‘pal’ in “principal”.. clearly this team doesn’t

  • Ajd

    The dance isn’t lewd. It’s a spoof od the dead guy in the movie Weekend at Bernie’s. The principal need to get a clue and let kids be kids and have a little fun. The Dulaney parents need some thicker skin, realize that they got beat and forget about it. What happened to childhood fun. Way to take the fun out of life. It would be different if the kids were truly being disrespectful and unsportsmanlike. I just don’t see it.

  • John Cottrell

    Principal Roberts wow i guess that just shows that you have no sense of humor or a life that you have to take it away from some kids that have worked hard for there achievements. Way to go to kill the school spirit. Neither of my kids went to this school but some of there parents i did go to school with and I’m sure you will here from them as well as other parents. Get over it have some fun and let the kids do the same.

  • Tim

    This principal is a dud. If my son was a senior and this was his last chance to play, I would be furious. This principal needs to see the conduct of other sports teams and compare them to Perry Hall. The dance isn’t lewd and suspending the remaining season, which happens to be state playoffs is ridiculous. The team should show up and play anyway. The principal can’t stop them from playing.

  • Carla Hettinger

    I graduated from Perry Hall and I am so disappointed in the reaction of the current principal! I have several friends that are school teachers and I hear of actions and behaviors that warrant severe punishment. Now, here we have a soccer team, who is doing well, and have a celebratory dance for their accomplishments and are being treated as if they robbed someone. YOU, Mr. Principal should hang your head low, because as I see it, you are the disappointment in this situation, not any of those kids who played hard and deserved to celebrate. I hope you can sleep at night knowing what was stripped from some of these kids (last game of HS, scholarships, a championship win) Shame on You!

    • Sonia Carreras

      Excellent comment. Shame on you Mr. Principal. If I were a senior I would not want to receive my diploma from your hand nor with your signature. I salute the boys varsity soccer team of Perry Hall High for their tremendous team work and school spirit. You should hold your heads high. You are champions in my book.

  • kidding me

    Wow I was going to send mu kids there. This has made me change my mind, I don’t want them to get mixed up with some uptight headmaster with an unreasonable outlook on life. …….OK GCS you win thanks for helping us make up our minds

  • Bonnie

    That is the Most Ridiculous thing I have ever heard of. Sounds to me like the Dulaney Parents that complained were just a bunch of Sour Grapes. The boys were just celebrating a job well done. I have seen this , and see nothing lewd or wrong with it. Perry Hall is my Alma Mater, but right now I’m ashamed of it. I just know one thing; James Bowerman, may he rest in peace; would Never have made suchan assnine decision like that. Come on, Mr. Roberts, stop trying to be TOO Politically Correct. It’s not very becoming..

    • RLD

      I also attended Perry Hall Senior and had many behavioral “issues” while there. Mr. Bowerman and Mr. Sakolski (VP) handled each with professionalism and the appropriate level of punishment. I am now a senior level executive and damn proud of my time and activities at PHHS. I love PHHS for the education I received and the athletic opportunities.
      This gentleman sounds like one of those guys who was always selected last in elementary school for a sports activity and now it’s his time to payback all of those more athletic than he.
      Shame on you.. Mr. Roberts! YOU ARE A PATHETIC MAN and a poor excuse for an admnistrator. LET KIDS BE KIDS !

  • Jenny Schaum

    The students were excited and they danced so what the Delaney Valley parents should not have started something and a big plus the Perry Hall High School Principal
    should have stood up for his students not for some up tight parents that their children had lost a game. I think that principal needs to consider changing his mind and stop being so uptight himself. I had graduated from Perry Hall and I am very upset that the principal acted in such nonsense.

  • Karen Mantell

    These students should be commended for their efforts. This team has worked hard to have the opportunity to play. Now this opportunity is being taken from them. Principal Roberts may not keep his job. Not a very wise decision on Principal Robert’s part. This principal should strongly reconsider his decision and admit it was not the best or brightest decision he has made.

  • Dave

    What in the world is going on? I think the principal needs to be suspended. It’s completely appalling the severe stance he took. I agree with others, he needs to get a life. I mean really, even if you think what they did is wrong, is this the correct punishment? Of course it’s not. He should embarrassed and he should apologize for what he has done. It’s too bad there is no one to over rule his foolish actions.

  • Mike Barnstein

    What Mr. Roberts did is un-American and he could at least let them play but don’t have the game count.

  • Richard Sheffler

    Dulaney’s had their way in the county for 40 years, maybe the principal is looking for a promotion to Dulaney. This is BS

  • Ruth Scheeler

    @ Richard Sheffler….I am not affiliated with either of these schools, but I thought the same thing…that the principal is looking for a promotion. Principal Robets is a pathetic example for the students. And those from Dulaney that complained….you are a poor example of a parent. I hope that the principal decides to stand up for HIS students and do what is right…let them play!

  • Lauren

    This is what happens when minority rules and when people in a losing situation are defended and are given a more favorable situation. The few parents of Dulaney got what they wanted when a whole team, school and parents lost what they rightfully earned. We wonder why young people have a hard time dealing with situations that do not favor them, its because parents are constantly defending their kids, whether they are right or wrong, and do not allow them to deal with difficult situations on their own. The few parents from Dulaney who commented on the “lewd” act, are an example of this. The bottom line is, its a soccer game that most people will forget about in a few years, its really not that big of a deal. What is the big deal, is these kids will think they are entitled when things do not go their way and will not have the skills to cope with unfavorable situations. Let kids be kids (to a certain extent) and allow them to enjoy high school while they still have it.
    At least the coach from Dulaney has some sense and nerve enough to say that parents, especially ones who have kids in an unfortunate outcome, are not always right and reasonable.
    On another note, apparently during other sporting events that involve both noted schools, Dunlaney has been doing the “Bernie” towards the Perry Hall teams. “Surprisingly”, this has not been covered and there has not been any repercussions for these actions. In my humble opinion, this is unsportsmanlike conduct and unacceptable. It is funny how this situation has become a “double standard”.
    And thank you Principal Roberts for fueling the fire in regards to an already criticized educational system and poorly talked about faculty and staff (this comment is a general statement and not directed towards any specific school or system).
    I am a graduate of Perry Hall and my brother is currently a Senior at the school. I am proud of the area and proud of the education i received from a school that is stellar in many different aspects and areas.

    • RLD

      I couldn’t have said it better myself! Great post!

      • Lauren

        Thank you, I am a proud Alumna and still have roots in the PH area (including PHHS). I feel that this “controversy” goes deeper than just a game and I couldn’t help myself! :)
        I am also a Teacher and know that our educational system sees enough of this stuff…this was not needed.

  • Ritchie

    If all you all parents was the principal, the students wuold have much more fun,,

  • Matt

    I’m pretty sure there is no rule indicating the suspension of students for over celebrating. Baltimore co high school football rules state that over celebrating is a personal foul punishable by a 15 yard penalty but not a suspension. This is the last season for some of these kids and quite possibly the last competitive sports they will ever play. Bottom line is a dynasty was beaten and people are upset, but clearly, this year, the better team won. Let the kids have their victory, and leave the suspensions for students who break actual laws.

  • Daniel

    Get a life!

    It did not look lewd or unsportsman like conduct. Why don’t you turn them inito robots.

  • PH Alumni

    Sounds to me like a team with an inflated ego. What’s next? Taking some of the income back from the Ravens for them doing the ‘dance?’ Get real. I think the punishment is too harsh, especially with the double standard (that Lauren mentioned) that it has NOT been publicized that it’s ok for Dulaney to do this. Give me a break. I think these parents need to accept that PH is a much better team…ALL around.

  • Sandy

    Mr.Roberts your students should look up to you not look down upon you. Should these students be suspended for an innocent victory dance? Their intentions were not to be harmful, but a well earned action of a victorious emotion.Should these students have a permanent mark put on school record? Should they not have the opportunity to finish playing out the year? Maybe, an apology would have been welcomed by Dulaney since these students were following by example from previous sporting events that Dulaney had played. Is this the example you want your students to follow Mr. Roberts.? It’s not to late to do the right thing and show your students that we all make mistakes including yourself.

  • John

    What is the ;esson learned? That losing is not okay and if you complain you can get your way? Poor decision by the principal. Com”on Man!

  • marty

    The Perry Hall soccer team was wrong to do a victory dance, however they because of a lack of adult suppervision did not know any better. The fact is that they should have been stopped the first time they did this dance. Where were the parents? where were the coaches? where were the officials? and yes where was the Perry Hall Principal? The more these kids did this victory dance the more they believed it was o.k.. Now they are going to loose something that they could have cherrished for the rest of their lives, because the so called adults failed them. The fact is Mr. Pricipal you are making the kids suffer for your mistake. The fact that your ego will not allow you to do what is right simply because the student’s dared to as Cartman would say “question your Authoriti”, shows that you are not living in reality. I think that the superintendant of the county schools give you a lesson in “AUTHORITI” and overrule you. I would suggest to all those student, parents, and anyone who wants to do what is right call, email, or pay a visit to the county school superintendants, their county councilman, and the county executive. DO NOT LET THESE YOUNG PEOPLE MISS OUT ON SUCH A GREAT EVENT BECAUSE THE ADULTS FAILED TO DO THEIR JOBS.

    • Don

      Donot blame the coach he was sweeping the track because the AD from Dul told him to sweep it because the PH players tracked dirt on the track during half time.So he may not have seen it.You are questioning PH but failed to report that Dul parents lied to thier AD and coach.

    • moleman

      Hey Marty, These 16-18 yrs old kids know the difference between right & wrong. Stop making excuses for them. That’s the real problem with kids today…..Parents!!

      • Lauren

        What is the excuse for the Dulaney parents? If you are going to call out one group, you need to call out the other. I agree to an extent that the victory dance could have been different or delayed, but the controversy is that these kids had no warning that it was inappropriate and it wasn’t deemed inappropriate until someone complained. That complaint was then followed by an extreme punishment.
        This situation could have been dealt with differently; have a meeting with parents and kids to discuss that the victory dance could be toned down some or done differently, but don’t suspend a team without some type of warning. Everyone is entitled to that, that is how we learn.
        Kids don’t know right from wrong or whats inappropriate unless they are taught it (believe me, I do this for a living). All that was needed was a brief comment on appropriate conduct and this whole situation could have been avoided.
        I still support the PHH soccer team and wish them the best of luck. I hope the boys along with fellow classmates can walk away from this incident with some new knowledge.

    • Big Ron

      What’s wrong with a VICTORY dance? Maybe it will hurt the ‘SELF ESTEEM” of their opponents. Grow up. If you can’t learn from your losses you will be a loser all your life….

  • the truth

    Who gives a rat’s azz what any of you parents think. Most of you are too lazy & just throw money at the problems of kids today. You’re all to busy getting your hair, nails & Lexus serviced than to really teach your kids manners & respect. The kids are doing what they see other adults doing. Be a real role model for them & not some air heads.

    • you can't handle the TRUTH

      I find it amusing and amazing that you make such a sweeping generalization of the parents who have commented on this story. The TRUTH here is that these kids are being punished in a manner that does not fit the offense. The principal is putting his own principles ahead of the good of his own students. These kids deserve to play. They have gone through all of the rigors of preparing for a season, winning during a season and then defeating a team which is a powerhouse!! The TRUTH is that the principal is making more of a lewd display than the kids did with the dance!! The truth… YOU CAN”T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!

    • Who does? I do.

      On this subject and any other subject you have commented on in the past, you have not spoken one syllable of truth; you come on here with the rantings and ravings of a lunatic who feels you are so far above everyone else when in fact, you’re no better than anyone else who has an opinion. So, troll all you want on this blog; most of the people who comment and/or read this and other comments know you well enough to pay little or no attention to anything you have to say.

      • the truth

        Who does???Me a troll? I got your troll & it’s up your hole so wiggle your azz if you wanna save your soul…….Go kill yourself & Oh, If I wanted to listen to an azzhole, I’d fart.

  • Debbie

    There obviously wasn’t a rule against this and now have to suffer for the opinion of parents who obviously saw them as a threat to their own team moving forward. I hope Dulaney loses every game they play. These parents should be ashamed of themselves and the principal should have egnored their whining.

  • Sarah

    Thats not right! They shouldn’t have been suspended!

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