Five students disciplined for hazing at Friday Harbor High School
January 23, 2009 · 11:32 AM
Five Friday Harbor High School students were suspended from school, temporarily lost sports privileges and attended a hazing workshop put on by Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Services, in response to hazing in the high school locker room the last week of October.
School officials learned of the hazing Oct. 30, Principal Fred Woods said. Three students were hazed separately in a two-day period, he said.
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Charles Silverman said he would not prosecute because he felt high school administrators took adequate disciplinary measures. But he did say he felt the hazing amounted to a crime. "It's a prosecutable offense," he said.
Woods said the five students were given long-term suspensions but had an opportunity to have their suspensions reduced to short-term — about seven days — by participating in community service and a workshop developed for them by DVSAS. The five students were back in school before Thanksgiving but missed the rest of the fall sports season.
The workshop was held Jan. 17. DVSAS director Anita Castle said the workshop participants "took away with them the goals of the workshop — the hidden harms of hazing, consent, and empathy for a victim. Those were our major goals to reach and they did. It was a great workshop. I was impressed with these young men."
Woods said counseling is available for the hazing victims. Administrators have met with the parents, some more than once.
Woods said steps have been taken to raise awareness among coaches and student athletes about the damaging effects of hazing. Woods said that even what some may label as "harmless hazing" won't be tolerated.
"Any form of hazing is not right," he said.
— With reporting by Richard Walker and Scott Rasmussen