Titusville High School baseball players reinstated after 'Harlem Shake' video

School officials say video obtained obscene gestures

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TITUSVILLE, Fla. - Eight Titusville High School baseball players kicked off the team for participating in a "Harlem Shake" video will be able to "earn" their way back onto the squad.

A letter from Coach Mark Lewis to the students' parents said the players can come back to the team, but they will be on probation. 

The students appealed their original punishment, and the school principal and superintendent came up with the lesser penalty, school district officials said.

According to the letter, players will be allowed to return to practice on March 4, if they meet several conditions, including:

  • An hour of community/school service every day until Spring Break
  • Preparing the field prior to games and clean-up afterward
  • Additional conditioning after practice and games
  • Participating in a fundraising concert

The letter ended by saying, "This has been a difficult situation for all involved.  I hope these young men will learn from this and will be good examples from here on out for the younger kids to look up to."

Last week, the Brevard County School District suspended the players over their version of the viral video, dubbed "The Harlem Shake."  All 10 students were suspended from school for at least two days because, the school district said, the video featured obscene gestures. 

School administrators said the players were accused of wearing their baseball team uniforms and making the gestures while performing the dance at the school's baseball field, then posting the video online.  The video was later pulled from the Internet, but Local 6 was told it gained 5,000 views in 24 hours. No coaches or administrators were around when the video in question was made.

Two players, including the videographer, said they're pleased with the scaled-back penalty but still feel they should not have been punished in the first place. 

"I feel like, in the kids' eyes, it was great. It was an awesome video but the school thought it was inappropriate," said videographer Mark Tate. "No nudity, none of that.  There was hip thrusts, but other than that, nothing too worse."

Tate says he still has the YouTube video, but isn't sure if he will re-release the video.

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