High School Hazing - Make Hazing Stop

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This is a PowerPoint I presented to the Munster School Board in August 2011 during the appeal process. I believe the PowerPoint speaks for itself. I hope you will share the information with friends and family. Hazing isn't kid stuff. Hazing damages individuals. Let's all commit to Make Hazing Stop!

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  • STM Vision Statement The School Town of Munster educates today’s children for a successful tomorrow. STM Mission Statement The School Town of Munster, in partnership with our community, provides quality learning experiences that will enable students to achieve their personal best. STM Belief Statements All Students can learn. Each student is a valued individual with unique physical, social, emotional and intellectual needs . The achievement of high standards of learning is expected of all students. A safe and supportive learning environment promotes student achievement. The success of our school system depends on the commitment of all staff (administrators, teachers and support staff) to high quality standards, expectations and performances. STM Belief Statements (Cont’d) The chief priority of our school system is focused on learning: student learning, professional learning, and organizational learning. The curriculum is aligned with state and local standards. Professional development is an integral part of our ongoing plan for continuous improvement. Effective collaboration and communication with families as partners in the education of their children is essential to the success of our school system.
  • High School Hazing - Make Hazing Stop

    1. 1. Joe’s hair is shaved across the top
    2. 2. HAZINGA Problem Within the Munster HighSchool Boy’s Swim Team Program
    3. 3. Joe 2010
    4. 4. Who – Joseph Hunt• Joe is representative of all students, he was not the only one victimized. We are just the only ones with the good sense and courage to come forward, to recognize that abuse should not be part of any educational or extracurricular program in this school system or any other.
    5. 5. Joe MHS Tennis Team 2011
    6. 6. About Joe• Dare Role Model for past • Munster Knights Chess two years Team member• Sports enthusiast • 2003 Northwest Indiana• Member of championship Regional First Place teams in in 2007 in • 2003 won game against baseball and 2008/09 in sponsor/mentor Dr. Wei basketball Zhou• MVP in 2007 as Pitcher • 2007 was member of team against a Gary team. that won State Team Opposing coaches chose Chess Championship for MVP. Eighth Grade and Under
    7. 7. Some ofJoe’s Trophies
    8. 8. Academic Achievements• Always an excellent • Scholar Athlete in student with near perfect freshman and sophomore attendance years• Terra Nova testing in • Enrolled in gifted program middle school, scored in the 98th percentile in Math, through Northwestern 99th percentile in Math University Computations, 99th • SAT in middle school, percentile in Math scored better than more Composite, 98th percentile than 30 percent of college in Science, 99th percentile bound seniors in Social Studies.
    9. 9. Recent History• August 2008, our • Fall of 2008 to March neighborhood 2010, displaced and in devastated by tornado process of rebuilding that struck Griffith in Munster, so Joe• September 2008, our could continue his home suffered education at MHS substantial damage in the flooding and had to be demolished
    10. 10. Joe’s Poemabout himself
    11. 11. Joe 2009 – Hazing began that summer just prior to starting his freshman year
    12. 12. What - Hazing• The relentless and sometimes severe hazing that takes place on the MHS Boy’s Swim Team.• Hazing refers to any activity expected of someone joining a group (or to maintain full status in a group) that humiliates, degrades, or risks emotional and/or physical harm, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate. It is a complex social problem that is shaped by power dynamics.
    13. 13. New York TimesLetter of this slideEditor Content to the is being July 31, 1908 suppressed until copyright permission has been obtained from the author.
    14. 14. Hazing Practices within the Swim Program• Irritating waterproof • Equipment required for ointment applied practice taken, swim• Younger members paddles, fins required to clean up locker • Lower classmen expected rooms to give up their shower• Younger members stall for upper classmen required to clean up buses• Younger members • Hygiene products taken by required to clean up lunch upper classmen trays in order to sit with • Being hit with a plastic bat older members • Being hit with swim fins
    15. 15. Hazing Practices within the Swim Program (Cont’d)• Hair cut and dyed in a humiliating and demeaning manner• Eyebrow shaved off to punish for changing hair cut/color• Five Starring, being hit on the back with an open hand resulting in a “Five Star” mark
    16. 16. Joe’s Hair is shaved down the middle
    17. 17. Joe’s hair is shaved across the top
    18. 18. Joe’s hair is dyed luscious raspberry red
    19. 19. Joe’s head is shaved to try to even it up
    20. 20. Who?• Who was a victim, who was the abuser?• Most everyone on the team was a victim at one time or another• Upperclassmen, often the captains on the team were the abusers. Some of the young men who hazed others have gone on to some of the finest colleges and universities in this nation.
    21. 21. When?• The abuses on the team were constant. Joe estimates he suffered several hundred single incidents of hazing.• Where was the supervision?• How could such obvious signs of abuse and abusive behavior be missed?
    22. 22. Joe’s head is shaved to try to even it up
    23. 23. Team photo with obvious signs of abuse
    24. 24. Where?• The abuses took place on the pool deck, in the locker room, in the showers, in the lunchroom, on the buses and in private homes.
    25. 25. Why?• Swimming is a grueling sport. Demanding on the student and the parent.• Hazing was a known, accepted and even protected “tradition” of the MHS Boy’s Swim Program.• Despite countless rules, policies, bylaws and contractual agreements, none were employed to counter the hazing culture that flourished unchecked.
    26. 26. Contacts with Staff and Administration• Fall of 2009, Coach Ryan • March 9 – Superintendent Nolin, phone Pfister, in person• January 31, 2011 – Coach Matt • April 18, phone to Mr. Pfister Pavlovich, in person for follow-up meeting• February 3, 2011 – Athletic • May 18, receive return phone Director Michael Smith, in person call from month earlier• February 9, 2011 – Phone and • May 23, Mr. Pfister, present email with Coach Matt formal complaint, in person Pavlovich and AD Michael • May 26, Principal Tripenfeldas Smith and Dean Clark, in person• March 6 – Principal Steven Tripenfeldas, phone
    27. 27. How has Joe been affected:• Suffers bouts of • Stressful dealing with this depression on top of regular• Suffers bouts of anxiety adolescent issues• Lowered self-esteem • Skin issues• Diminished self- • Neck injured in attack, confidence treated but continues to• Drop in grades cause discomfort from time to time.• Difficulty concentrating
    28. 28. How does Joe continue to be affected?• Great anxiety over • Health concerns due to returning to school level of chlorine• Places great pressure exposure he suffered upon himself to as result of hazing “prove” himself behaviors in the• Loss of friends on showers swim team due to their • Stress and anxiety due ignorance of how to amount of time it hazing is hurtful and has taken for this issue damaging to be addressed
    29. 29. Additional Concerns• The instances of abuse by the coaching staff itself have not been addressed. These are addressed in the next slide.• There are many incorrect statements contained in both the summary of the investigation and Ms. Szarmach’s subsequent investigation.• Many students who graduated this year and who clearly violated their contractual agreements to participate in extra-curricular activities as well as IHSAA competitions have received no punishment whatsoever.• Treatment of parents and students when dealing with staff and administration should be improved.
    30. 30. List of Abuses by the Coaching Staff.• These are merely examples and may not include all the actions by this coaching staff that have negatively impacted the members of this team:• Morning practices that run too long, thereby depriving athletes of time to have breakfast. This is abusive on physical, mental and emotional levels.• Evening practices that run over by more than five or 10 minutes. Numerous occasions. Abusive to both parents and swimmers.• Disciplines that have been haphazardly applied with the most serious infractions receiving no discipline. Singling out individuals when numerous members have exhibited same behavior.• Physical abuse being inflicted on the basis of fees not being paid.• Swimmers forced to swim 3000 additional yards at the end of a meet, despite the fact they had a full training week prior.• Five o’clock in the morning practices after late night meets where boys do not return home until 9:00 or later.
    31. 31. Why we were compelled to pursue this issue.• We could not let this go, because it would have sent Joe all the wrong messages:• That it is okay for someone to abuse you.• If you are abused you should be quiet about it.• That often the people in authority who should protect you, don’t.• That the reasons they don’t is because they perceive some higher mission. They do not understand that when they fail one child in such a way, they fail all children…they fail themselves and the institution they represent.
    32. 32. Suggested Improvements to Deal with Hazing at MHS• Make the process transparent• Zero tolerance• Accelerated timeline for dealing hazing• Education of all staff, administrators, students and parents as to what constitutes hazing, what to do if a student is hazed, how to intervene on behalf of someone being hazed, how to report it. Hazing can only exist in secrecy.
    33. 33. Requested Actions• While there has been some improvement regarding communicating hazing concerns to parents, it is not nearly enough and needs to be expanded upon. Education is key.• A recognized expert in the field of hazing needs to be brought in for an all-school assembly. Mr. Elliott Hopkins of the National Federation of High School provides such a service as part of his job. There would be no cost to the district for his presentation.
    34. 34. Requested Actions (Cont’d)• By acknowledging and exposing the problem, you will give support to Joe and every young man who has been a victim, thereby relieving the stigma of disloyalty that has been perceived. Coming forward is not the act of a coward, but required great courage.• That the School Board appropriately reprimand and discipline those in authority who have have compromised this district and the students by their actions, and lack thereof,
    35. 35. New York TimesLetter of thisthe is being Content to slide Editor suppressed until copyright permission 31, 1908 July has been obtained from the author.
    36. 36. 103 years later… Isn’t it time things changed? Take this terrible situation and make it positive, become a force forchange in this school, this state, this nation.

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