Alleged school band hazing at Brazoswood

August 14, 2009 3:54:21 AM PDT
Some local students face disciplinary action as a result of an alleged hazing incident at school last week and the Brazosport Independent School District says it dropped the ball. District officials say they first became aware of these allegations after a parent came forward about what allegedly happened to her son. Since then, they say several other parents have come forward with their own concerns.

A drum player at Brazoswood High School, junior Devin Knapp was there when the alleged hazing took place.

"They had saran wrap and they wrapped them to a pole or made them sing songs," said Devin.

While not an actual participant, he says it was innocent fun.

"The students were all having fun, taking pictures, laughing. The freshman would come in, they were laughing, they were having a good time," said Devin.

However, authorities say innocent is not the word for what happened in the band hall on Monday.

It was during the freshman orientation known as 'Fish Auction.' At least three seniors allegedly forced a group of freshman to take part in humiliating acts. Those acts, which included the use of a balloon and a banana, reportedly had sexual overtones.

"Well if it's true, obviously I would be extremely offended by that, particularly if it was a sexual act," said parent Bruce Cooper.

Brazosport ISD has launched an investigation, not only looking at the seniors involved, but the band directors too. Four of them were in the hall, when the alleged incident took place, but district officials say all of them were in their offices, leaving the students unsupervised.

"As far as I know, nothing has ever come close to this. The district dropped the ball on this case," said Dr. Dennis McNaughten, Deputy Superintendent of Brazosport ISD.

As for Devin, who himself says went through similar treatment as a freshman, he believes the parents may be overreacting.

"If she was that offended, she should have called the band director and asked for some people to apologize instead of an investigation," said Devin. "I think it was blown way out of proportion."

District officials say they do not expect criminal charges to be filed in this case. The students involved could face up to expulsion to an alternative school. The teachers could also face disciplinary action themselves.

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