On May 4 of this year, nine high school girls participated in the hazing of freshmen from their cheerleading group. According to the Christian Post, the incident occurred at Ogden High School in Utah, and featured the girls on the wrong end of the hazing being forced to strip down in front of other students (including males) and sit tight as they were covered with various condiments.
One of the girls involved had a peanut allergy – which didn’t stop the cheerleaders doing the hazing from covering her in peanut butter. Predictably, she had a mild allergic reaction as a result, and eventually needed treatment for an outbreak of hives. In a mildly redeeming sidebar, once the girls doing the hazing realized that their teammate needed medical treatment, they let her leave.
Yay for decency.
Once news what transpired hit the streets, the nine cheerleaders were swiftly rounded up and suspended for anywhere from one to five days. On top of that, they were also forced miss their senior proms.
"There has been some sort of welcoming or initiation over the years," spokeswoman Donna Corby told the Salt Lake Tribune (via Christian Post). "If any of those initiations crossed the line into hazing, we can't speak to that. We don't know. Ogden School District has a zero tolerance policy for hazing.
"We want all of our students to know that we want them to not only get an education in our district, but also enjoy other activities, and have a great, whole school experience. In my opinion, this has clouded the experience for our incoming sophomores, and I feel badly about that.”
It’s sort of amazing that we’re still getting these sorts of stories. For a second, let’s take out the fact that over the last decade hazing has been taken to the umpteenth levels of extreme to the point where its legitimately dangerous now. Just the simple act of hazing, in itself, is amazingly stupid. Its intended purpose is supposedly to build camaraderie. How does it do that, exactly? Maybe it makes the torturers involved feel like they’re working as a unit, but it certainly doesn’t do much for the team as a whole. And the “it’s a rite of passage” argument is similarly dumb, seeing as it’s only a rite of passage so long as you keep doing it. Murdering drifters can be a rite of passage too. Traditions can stop being traditions if you stop making them traditions.
Of course, these nine girls getting suspended won’t change anything. We’ll have another situation like this a week from now, a month after that, and so on. If the deaths that have stemmed from hazing haven’t enlightened anyone, a girl with peanut allergy being covered in peanut butter definitely won’t do the trick.
(Kudos Christian Post)