SALT LAKE CITY — Hazing at East High School is a problem every year, with incoming seniors shaving the heads of incoming freshmen.
Former Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski says security cameras at her home caught some students doing just that over the weekend.
In a Facebook post, Biskupski said the video caught a young man being chased by three older kids.
The former mayor called the bullying an “epic failure on the part of East High School” and asked seniors to have the courage to come forward and end the decades-long practice.
East High Principal, Greg Maughan, also addressed the issue on Facebook.
He said, “When administrators investigate, it worries us even more that the victims, and often their parents are unwilling to share their experiences or talk about who took part in the hazing. At times, those parents have moved their students to a different school rather than identify who had shaved their child`s head.”
He went on to say it’s nearly impossible to punish the people responsible without enough information.
Maughan said many parents view hazing as a tradition rather than teaching kids that it’s wrong.
If caught, Salt Lake School District rules are in place to punish the offenders.
Students can be expelled from school for both on-site and off-site violations of its harassment policies.
Students caught hazing can also be pulled from sports or other extracurricular activities.
Salt Lake City School District Spokesperson, Yandary Chatwin, said hazing is taken very seriously and is not tolerated.
“This type of behavior is unacceptable, whether it’s meant in good fun, whether someone is looking at this as a 'rite of passage,' it’s bullying and it is wrong,” Chatwin said. “It’s hard for the school to do anything when we don’t have the complete information. We know that there are members of the community who know and we’re asking them to please come forward.”