Footloose in Queens? HS Student Arrested for Organizing Mass Harlem Shake

Police were called to Forest Hills High School last Friday morning to disperse a crowd of wannabe Harlem Shakers. The organizer of the massive flashmob, Arnis Mehmetaj, 17, was arrested and suspended from school.

For the past few weeks, the Harlem Shake dance craze has been captivating Americans from coast to coast—that is, everyone except for officials at Forest Hills High School in Queens.

Around 9:30 a.m. on Friday, hundreds of Forest Hills students crammed themselves into the school’s lobby to film their take on the Harlem Shake. But there was no time to don goofy costumes and wiggle awkwardly to the music; soon after the massive crowd squeezed itself into the lobby, it was ordered to disperse by school officials.

After a fruitless bout of whistle-blowing and pleading by the school officials, police officers were reportedly called in to handle the unruly crowd of wannabe Internet sensations. They even arrested Arnis Mehmetaj, 17, who reportedly organized and publicized the Harlem Shake gathering on Facebook. Mr. Mehmetaj, a Forest Hills senior, was charged with disorderly conduct and will have to appear in court. Mr. Mehmetaj was also suspended from school for five days.

“It was supposed to be a harmless thing,” a student told “It was supposed to be 30 seconds of fun.”

The students of Forest Hills High School aren’t alone; in high schools across the nation, it’s been a rough week for students wanting to get their shake on.

Yesterday, the New York Daily News reported that two dozen students from Pennsylvania’s Brownsville Area High School were suspended for filming an overly “graphic” and “vulgar” version of the Harlem Shake. And yesterday in Shreveport, La., around 40 students at Calvary Baptist Academy were also suspended for a too-sexy Harlem Shake; according to The Shreveport Times, school officials were put off by the students’ “attire” and “gyrations.”

This week, students have learned an important life lesson: think twice before you Shake.