Thursday, October 10, 2013

Hazing Comes to High School

Scholars like Gregory Parks have done extensive work on hazing in higher education, see, e.g..  An unfortunate new field may be opening for them: high school.  The Seattle Times reports that a local high school:

has temporarily expelled 11 sophomores, juniors and seniors. The students are banned while Seattle police and school officials continue investigating the Sept. 27 incident when students were discovered at the Washington Park Arboretum drinking alcohol. Some were dressed in diapers, being pelted with eggs and paddled with boards.

Some of the students, surprised when Howard and school security aides arrived, hurled derogatory names at the principal — including a racial epithet.

Apparently, this was all occurring during school hours.  This also comes after an incident last June at another local school where "seven juniors were beaten, burned with cigarettes and cigars, and pelted with eggs during hazing. The hazing was an initiation rite for the 'Naked Vikings,' a group not officially sanctioned by the school, but allowed to cheer at football and basketball games."

Let us hope these are isolated incidents and that the Office for Civil Rights can articulate the legal rationale whereby at least some of the hazing falls within the purview of Title IX and Title VI, which would obligate schools to address it rather than look the other way, as some claim the schools have done in the past.

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