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Mystery tour: what happened in New York stays in South Carolina

From the Anderson Independent Mail:

ANDERSON — Three or four McCants Middle School students may or may not be in school Monday, following an investigation by Anderson School District 5 into an alleged hazing incident.

Officials with the Anderson-based district would not comment about the incident other than to release a statement Friday.

In the statement, the district said it is investigating the incident that happened during a recent 8th grade trip to New York City.

“The administration at McCants Middle School was made aware of an incident that allegedly occurred on an out-of-state 8th grade field trip,” district officials said in the statement. “The administration immediately began investigating the allegations. Although the district cannot discuss confidential student matters, we can state emphatically that this incident will be fully investigated and any students who are determined to have engaged in misconduct will be punished in accord with established district policy.”

The family of the reported victim declined to comment.

According to parents of McCants students who did not wish to be identified, the students went to Washington, D.C., New York City and Hershey, Penn., and visited such sites as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Statue of Liberty and saw a Broadway show. Parents pay nearly $1,000 per child for the trip. This is the 10th year students have taken the trip. McCants students in 7th grade take a trip to Jekyll Island, Ga., they said.

Details of the incident being investigated could not be confirmed.

Randall Williams, spokesman for the City of Anderson Police Department, said no reports had been filed at the police department regarding such an incident. Even if a complaint were filed, the police department would not be able to investigate it, he said.

“If it happened in New York City, it would have to be investigated there,” he said.
E.W. Scripps Co.
© 2006 The Anderson Independent Mail

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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