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Officials Probe Ill. School Hazing

May 8, 2003

CHICAGO (AP) _ School and police officials were poring over videotapes in an effort to identify the ringleaders of a brutal high school hazing incident in which teenage girls were slapped, punched, doused with paint and splattered in the face with mud and feces.

Officials at Glenbrook North High in Northbrook were examining videotapes taken by students who had gone to a park Sunday to watch the annual ``powder puff″ football game between junior and senior girls.

Five girls ended up in the hospital, one with a broken ankle and another who needed 10 stitches in her head. School officials stressed that the game was not sanctioned and occurred off-campus without their knowledge.

``I guess there was some football involved, but then it was pushing, punching, hitting, putting buckets on heads ... showering people with debris and, according to one report, human excrement,″ said Northfield Township District 225 Superintendent Dave Hales. ``It was hazing.″

Officials are hoping to identify students for possible discipline, spokeswoman Diane Freeman said. Students involved in athletics or other extracurricular activities must sign a code of conduct that requires them to behave both on and off campus.

``There’s nothing else we can do,″ Freeman said. ``It’s out of our jurisdiction. The courts and the parents will mete out punishment.″

Officials said up to 100 students were involved in the incident in the suburb about 20 miles north of Chicago.

Videotapes played on TV show girls in yellow jerseys punching, slapping and dumping paint on other girls kneeling on the ground. Some spectators hoist cups of beer.

Glenbrook North Principal Michael Riggle said alcohol contributed to the violence.

The district used to sponsor a powder puff football game during homecoming but discontinued the event in 1977 after it became too rough.


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