School Culture
8:20 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Garfield Students Suspended After Mass Hazing Incident

Eleven Garfield High School students have been suspended after a hazing incident in late September.
Credit Flickr Photo/Joe Wolf

Eleven students have been suspended from Garfield High School while the district investigates their roles in a September 27 hazing incident.

Seattle Public Schools spokeswoman Teresa Wippel said the suspension, which began Friday, is not disciplinary at this point, and will probably last no longer than two weeks. Discipline will follow if the students are found to have broken school rules, even though the hazing occurred off campus.

The students are suspected of leading a massive hazing party at the Washington Park Arboretum  that the district says involved more than 100 students.

Upperclassmen allegedly paddled freshmen and covered them in eggs and shoe polish.

Wippel said Garfield has a long-standing hazing tradition, something the district wants to end. "We are working with University of Washington and Seattle University to work with the culture of the school, with students, parents and teachers, to figure out how to reduce or eliminate hazing just because the nature of this latest incident was pretty — was pretty big."

Garfield Principal Ted Howard discovered the party after he got an anonymous text message believed to be from a student.

He showed up at the hazing event with police and said students threw eggs at him and called him a racial slur.

All but one of the students who have been barred from school are white, Wippel said.