Student with head in hands sitting on the floor in front of blue lockers.

Former Mayor: Call Made to Stop High School Hazing

Former Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski blistered East High School administrators to take necessary measures to stop hazing younger students.

Former Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski blistered East High School administrators to take necessary measures to stop hazing younger students. The former mayor of Utah’s largest city says the hazing is a “traumatic experience” for freshmen at the school.

She recalled an experience when a younger student was a victim of hazing, being chased by an older student and banged on her front door pleading for help.

“He said he was being chased by seniors at East High School, where he will start school next month. They had singled him out of a large group of kids his age, to force him into a car and and take him to shave his head. And who knows what else they would do,” Biskupski wrote on a Facebook post.

The former mayor said the practice “is an epic failure on the part of East High School to not shut down this bullying tactic. I am calling upon Principal Greg Maughan and Vice Principal Kalisi Uluave to shut this traumatic experience down NOW.”

The East High School principal also posted a call for students and parents to reach out to the school to let them know if they or their child has been victimized by hazing.

“… please exercise your responsibility as a parent and community member to stop this. This has a negative impact on other students, the school and the larger community. It must end now, PERIOD,” he wrote.

Hazing of incoming boys has been a longtime practice at the school and offenders have been dealt various sanctions and penalties over the years, with some incidents referred to law enforcement that resulted in criminal charges.

Under Salt Lake City School District policy, school-level discipline can result in suspension or expulsion. Students’ participation in extracurricular activities can be halted or they can be placed on probation.

Melissa Ford — the president of the Salt Lake City Board of Education and representative of Precinct 6 representative, which includes East High School — said the school regularly communicates with the community about its expectations but many people are reticent to report hazing, which makes it difficult for the school to intervene.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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