MARSHFIELD (WAOW) – A Marshfield High School dance team coach fired after her team performed a routine to the popular Robin Thicke song “Blurred Lines” has accused the school district of sex discrimination.
Lisa Joling filed the discrimination complaint with the state Department of Workforce Development Equal Rights Division in Madison on April 15.
Joling was fired last August, four days after the dance team performed at halftime of a Marshfield High football game to an “edited version” of “Blurred Lines,” the complaint said.
No reason was given for the firing, Joling said in the complaint, but she later learned she was let go because of the song used by the seven-member dance team.
“Marshfield School District has treated its male coaches more favorably than Ms. Joling,” the complaint said. “Similarly situated male coaches and disc jockeys at school dances have played the unedited and explicit version of “Blurred Lines” at school games, dances and functions without repercussion.”
Joling had been the dance team's coach since July 2012.
A spokesman for Marshfield Superintendent Peg Geegan did not immediately return a telephone message Tuesday.
Last fall, Geegan issued a statement on the firing, saying it was “based on appropriate reasons and following district protocols. Personnel matters are confidential, so further information will not be forthcoming from the district.”
“Blurred Lines” has been a worldwide hit. The song's video has been criticized for sexy content, with some critics claiming it promotes date rape. The song, released in March 2013, was nominated for two Grammys.
Joling said Tuesday she would take her job back if it was offered.
“I just feel that what they did was a little extreme and uncalled for,” she said in a telephone interview from Marshfield. “We would love to settle this and come to some mutual agreement and kind of move on in a positive direction.”