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Hazing News

Austin Power struggle

By TOM HARRIS
KVUE News

The first day of classes at Austin High School were disrupted Monday morning by some hazing of the new freshman students.

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Dozens of vehicles had derogatory phrases written all over them.

Words like “bow down” and “fish die” were scribbled across the windows of numerous cars and trucks at Austin High School.

Students like Jacob Sellman, junior, say they were sending a message.

“Trying to intimidate all of the freshmen a little bit make them scared, you know?” he said.

Students say the hazing didn’t stop at the parking lot. Victoria Jackson says it was a mess.

“They were throwing mice, crickets and everything. There were stink bombs — they were being nasty,” she said.

KVUE News was told classes started about an hour late because of the hazing, and several students were suspended. Austin ISD brought in extra security officers to make sure things didn’t get more out of hand.

High school senior Chloe Wallace say the principal also stepped in to try and get kids to class.

“When we got into school, we threw confetti up. We had thrown stink bombs, fire crackers — he was pretty mad,” Wallace said. “We were running around the school. Yeah, he was pretty mad.”

Many of the students who spoke to KVUE News say a little intimidation and hazing has always been a part of the high school experience, and they are just carrying on the tradition.

“It’s just the whole game, you know?” said Sellman. “If you are going to be in high school, you have got to go on with your day. It’s just high school I guess.”

An AISD spokesperson says the district does not support any type of hazing but could not comment specifically on this incident because it remains under review.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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