The Seattle school district banned 11 Garfield High School students suspected of participating in a recent off-campus hazing incident until officials decide if discipline is warranted.
The students were told Friday not to return to class on Monday. Such “emergency expulsions” generally don’t last longer than two weeks, said Seattle Public Schools spokeswoman Teresa Wippel.
“It’s not an official disciplinary action. It just removes students from the school environment while the investigation is being conducted,” Wippel said. “They are banned from coming on campus and they also can’t participate in any sports or extracurricular activities while they’re emergency expelled. So they’re not supposed to have any contact with Garfield at all.”
Eight of the 11 students also have been identified by Seattle police as suspects in the incident, Wippel said.
Garfield Principal Ted Howard and a group of police officers broke up a large student gathering after school on Sept. 27 at the Washington Park Arboretum. They discovered underclassmen were being paddled, wearing diapers, having eggs thrown at them and shoe polish put on them.
In an email to parents, Howard said the group of about 100 students was drinking “hard alcohol and beer.”
Wippel said that Howard recognized some of the students’ faces, though others ran before he could identify them and some were wearing disguises.
Wippel said Howard and other school officials are investigating each of the 11 students on a case by case basis to decide if further discipline is warranted.