Wayzata coach, Lakeville South coaches reprimanded for dance team protest

Wayzata High School's head dance team coach will be sitting out on the first couple of dance competitions next season, following the controversial protest that took place at the Minnesota State High School Dance Team tournament in February.

See related: Faribault dance teams state championship mired in controversy

This is the first news of any coaches involved in the protest being given a punishment besides a written reprimand.

"As a result of the findings of the investigation, the head dance coach was given a letter of reprimand and won't be allowed to coach in the first two dance competitions of the 2015-16 dance season," the Wayzata school district said.

Wayzata head coach Leslie Swiggum has been coaching the team for nearly 40 years, was named the 2011-2012 Class AAA Head Coach of the Year, and is a member on the Minnesota Association of Dance Teams board (MADT).

The district hired an independent party to collect the facts regarding the events that occurred at the State High Kick Dance meet on February 14.

"The investigation was recently completed and based on the findings of the investigation, the District has taken appropriate action," the district said.

Swiggum isn't the only coach who has received a written reprimand since the protest. Lakeville South's whole coaching staff and activities director also were disciplined.

Lakeville also hired a law firm to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident.

"Based on the findings and conclusions of this investigation, it was decided that written reprimands were necessary for all district employees who were involved in this incident, including the coaching staff and activities director," the district said.

"These disciplinary actions were taken in order to reinforce the level of sportsmanship and professionalism that is expected of all coaches in the Lakeville Area Public Schools. More important, however, was the need to express the firm belief that student athletes should not be used by adults to express disagreement with a decision made by other adults."

Also involved in the protest was Eden Prairie High School. According to the district, they have conducted their own investigation but cannot share any of the results – "The district is currently in the process of reviewing the results," their spokesperson said.

The other high schools involved in the protest include Chaska and Eastview, both districts have yet to respond to Fox 9.

See also: Difference between creative inspiration and plagiarism in Faribault dance team win

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