MILL CREEK — A group of cheerleaders at Jackson High School have been suspended for two days after they were found to have hazed younger members of the squad.
The new members of the squad were made to wear diapers and then were targeted with squirt guns and hit with hot dogs, a Seattle telev
ision station reported.
Everett School District Superintendent Gary Cohn sent an e-mail to school board members about the incident Thursday afternoon.
It did not describe exactly what happened. However, it said that earlier this week, Jackson High School cheerleading squad members engaged in hazing of the Mill Creek school’s new cheerleaders.
The students who engaged in the hazing were disciplined with two days of suspension.
“The extent of that hazing is not entirely clear,” the email says. “The point is that their actions violated the behavior expectations.”
The school district’s policy on team sports and cheerleading prohibits harassment, bullying and hazing.
“We had students who made choices that violated their code of conduct and our behavior expectations and they were disciplined as we do in all instances of student misbehavior,” school district spokeswoman Mary Waggoner said Friday.
“The action involved is what we would term hazing, which is not acceptable,” she said.
“We have to help students and people who have seen this as acceptable in the past understand that it is not from the perspective of the person to whom this is being done,” she said.
However, she noted that some students at the hazing event “made the right choices and did not participate.
“The important thing is that someone did the right thing,” she said. “They reported this to the administration.”
School officials then contacted the parents, talked to the students, and “found out what happened and took disciplinary action,” Waggoner said.
The school district has received phone calls from parents saying, “Thank you for stopping this,” she said.
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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