Hazing is almost everywhere. Whether it's for a fraternity or a sports team, people always seem to feel the need to initiate new members of any organization with series of practical jokes.
High schools are not excluded from the list. "For most incoming freshmen, it's their biggest fear," says administrator Richard Wilson.
Wilson says he relieves the 8th graders fears by telling them that it's very unlikely to happen to them. "I think [hazing] is more a myth than a reality," says Wilson.
But for many freshmen, hazing is an actuality. Freshman Phillip Allen was walking down the hall to his locker during lunch when he realized he was being followed. "I started running but eventually I was cornered and tackled. They took my shoes," he says.
"They hunted me down and beat me up. There were eleven or twelve of them. Then the duct taped me to the wall. I was up there for ten minutes before my friend got me down," says freshman Reginald Nance. "They weren't joking around. They hit me in my ribs."
This year is not the first year where hazing has been a problem. Farley Germain says that last year, he was cornered by a group of senior football players. "I tried to fight them off but there were six of them. They duct taped my hands and mouth and then they duct taped me to one of the soda machines in front of the office."
Sports teams are well known to have special initiations for their new teammates, though many of them will deny it. The Blair football team is no exception.
Freshman Jonathan Berger says that the JV team was hazed by the varsity team after practice in the locker rooms. "They turned out the lights and started beating us up. It was playful. It wasn't really a big deal," he says.
Junior Chris Stavish, who played on the varsity football team, denies there was any hazing. "We were strictly told not to do any hazing this year, so nothing happened," he says.
But hazing is not just about attacking the underdog. The reason behind many hazings is class pride. Many underclassmen are tagged or drawn on with upperclassman graduation years during spirit week when upperclassman take class pride a little too far.
A freshman, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of a future repeat of the incident, says that he was tagged during spirit week. "Three upperclassmen cornered me. They wrote '06 and '05 all over my face in sharpie."
Jesse Ruf says that his friend was also tagged. "Three seniors picked him up and dumped him in a trashcan. They took a sharpie and wrote '04 all over his face," Ruff says.
Not just freshmen were targets for hazing. Some sophomores were tagged because of their class shirt and the fact that it was white, the junior class color. Clair Briggs says she was chased by a junior when she wore her class shirt. "[A Junior] went around with a washable marker and tried to write '05 on my sophomore class t-shirt," she says.
Briggs says that her incident was "not a big deal" because she knew who the upperclassman was. "It was kind of annoying but [the marker] washed out. If it was some random junior it would've been scary but we're friends," she says.
Sophomore Hayley Arnold hazed a freshman because she was friends with her victim. "Two of my friends held our [freshman friend] down while I wrote '06 all over her forehead. It was a joke really, we're friends with her. A teacher walked by, saw us, laughed, and kept walking," she says.
It seems that most of the hazing that occurs goes unnoticed by staff members. "As an administrator, we can only see so much" says Wilson. "We might miss it but we don't tolerate it"
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