Suspensions coming after Champlin Park High hazing

  • Article by: PAMELA MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 8, 2010 - 7:41 AM

More at Champlin Park High may face consequences after a school investigation is completed.

About 10 students from Champlin Park High School will be disciplined for hazing and harassing behavior that occurred Tuesday night during a pre-homecoming toilet-papering spree that the school has been working to curtail, a school district representative said Thursday.

Brett Johnson, assistant director of communications for the Anoka-Hennepin School District, said "nine to 10" students will be disciplined in accordance with policies that dictate suspensions of varying lengths for such behavior. A more severe punishment, expulsion, is not likely, he said.

Students facing suspension participated in "serious hazing incidents" that included cellophane-wrapping students to trees and subjecting others to vinegar-mustard drinks or spray, he said. The harassment occurred late Tuesday, when, despite Principal Michael George's pleas to students and parents that the perennial pre-homecoming toilet-papering caper be shelved, 150 to 200 students draped trees in cities that the 2,975-student high school serves, including Champlin, Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center and Dayton, Johnson said.

Some of the students involved in the toilet-papering were darting across busy streets while wearing dark clothing, and several were involved in a minor car accident "that thankfully was not worse," Johnson said.

A school investigation of the hazing incidents continues and more students may face suspension, Johnson said. Police have not been involved in the investigation, he said.

"We need to stop this kind of behavior before someone is seriously injured," George said in a news release. "Some students have the idea that these activities are tradition, innocent fun or a rite of passage, but whenever a student is demeaned or humiliated, it is not fun."

Since stepping into the principal's job this fall, George has met with parents and students, broadcast PA messages at school and left voice-mails at homes, campaigning for fewer shenanigans and a stronger emphasis on "more positive traditions," Johnson said.

"We want to remind people that it's just a small number of students who participated in the toilet-papering and a very small number involved in the hazing behavior," Johnson said. "The community can continue to be proud of this school."

Pamela Miller • 612-673-4290

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