‘Dancing Park Ranger’ Fired For Dancing On The Clock


A park ranger for the City of Chattanooga at Coolidge Park, Deryl Nelson, was recently fired when a mother shot a video of him dancing and complained, according to.

The complaint came from Melissa Parsons, who deemed the dancing inappropriate.

“As a parent and seeing all the parents that were covering their kids’ eyes and turning their heads away, it wasn’t something that you would expect to see in Coolidge Park or anywhere from a grown man, especially a man in uniform,” Mr. Parsons explained to WTVC News Channel 9.

She added, “He went all the way down to the ground, he came back up from the ground, he was grabbing areas that you would see on a rated R movie.”

WTVC reportedly posted the raw video, and there was no moment where

Nelson was “grabbing areas.”

Nelson explained his dancing, as he’s been known to some in the area as the “dancing park ranger.”

Nelson explained that the dancing was just a manner in which he expressed himself, stating that the movement was “Clean fun. It’s nothing like, you know, doing any bumping and grinding.”

Despite Nelson’s statement, the public works department decided it was inappropriate and fired him for two violations, “conduct unbecoming of an employee” and “inefficiency or negligence in performance of duties.”

Nelson had been suspended twice, one for a crash that happened on the job, and last year for making inappropriate remarks to a co-worker, according to

Mercury News.

However, he won an award from the police department last year for helping save a woman’s life at the park.

The park ranger is reportedly appealing the termination.

“Let me be myself. Let me be the park ranger. I was labeled ‘the dancing park ranger,’ so let me be the dancing park ranger,” stated Nelson. 

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