May 24, 2013

Graduation party results in walking punishment for some students

CPD says hazing may have also taken place

By Tiffany Martinez
The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — Chickasha Superintendent Jim Glaze has taken the privilege of walking across the graduation stage away from several Chickasha High School students this year.

A series of troubling events during the evening of May 22 led to this decision, he said, and it’s unfortunate.

“It’s bad for everyone involved,” Glaze said. “It’s bad for the school as a whole, the teachers, the administrators and parents — and especially these particular students.”

Glaze said an unapproved graduation party was held on school grounds on the night of May 22 and was carried onto the practice field.

“At first it was just seniors and then a large group of juniors showed up at some point in time,” Glaze said. “Then things really started getting out of control. Cars were driven onto the practice field, and the field got all torn up from donuts being made by the vehicles. You could see where they had fishtailed across the field.”

Three vehicles were found on the practice field the next morning, while three public intoxication arrests were made the night of the incident.

When Glaze began working with the Chickasha Police Department to find those who were responsible for the damage, he was made aware of another alarming piece of information.

“I talked to the chief of police,” Glaze said, “and he made some comments that there was possibly some hazing going on during that night, in addition to drinking.”

Glaze and fellow school board members spent the majority of Thursday morning questioning CHS seniors about the event.

“We felt that instead of doing graduation practice with the seniors Thursday morning,” he said, “we should sit down with them, especially if there was some hazing going on, and try to find out who was involved and if anyone was hurt.”

The Thursday investigation, conducted by Glaze and six other administrators, resulted in eight to 10 students being directed to CPD for further questioning.

“I can’t really go into detail about what took place that involved these students,” Glaze said, “but the actions of several were deemed inappropriate and we made the decision that they will not be participating in graduation.”

Friday morning, Glaze said, was spent interviewing juniors in an effort to gain any more information. As of now, the case is still under investigation.

Glaze said he has received word that students who do not attend Chickasha High School were also involved.

“Unfortunately this is only the beginning,” Glaze said. “We’re still going to have to call some parents and kids up this next week and try to get to the bottom of it.”

Glaze said it is going to cost an estimated $16,300 to correct damage done to the practice field.