Principal resigns post after Wyoming hazing skit

AP News
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Posted: Sep 17, 2014 7:21 PM

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A skit at a Wyoming high school in which new staff members were hazed with sexually suggestive words and actions has resulted in disciplinary action against some employees and the resignation of the principal.

The incident on Aug. 25 at Natrona County High School in Casper violated policies on harassment and conduct, according to a statement released by the Natrona County School District.

Principal Dean Kelly resigned Wednesday, apologizing for "an unfortunate incident" under his watch that compromised trust and embarrassed the district.

The Casper Star-Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1r1N1es) that Kelly will take on another, unspecified role in the school district.

The district on Tuesday released a redacted copy of a video of the skit in response to a public records request by the Star-Tribune.

School district attorney Kathleen Dixon said the video was shot by the school's videographer but she had no further details about who arranged the video. She said no students were involved in making or performing the skit.

The newspaper said six student council members were present during the skit.

The district did not identify any administrators or employees involved in the skit and the redacted video blurred the faces of those in the performance and does not include any names.

"We wish that there were ways to say more, but at this time, we're obligated to continue to follow the personnel laws and that process," Dixon said.

In the skit, two Natrona County High School personnel dressed as cheerleaders introduced new staff members to the rest of the staff audience. They compared the new teachers to sex offenders, drunks and serial killers and used teachers' body types as fodder for their jokes.

Staff members dressed as cheerleaders also made references to masturbation, homosexuality and virginity.

The district initiated an outside investigation after hearing complaints about the skit, and Kelly was among those placed on administrative leave during the investigation.

Efforts by The Associated Press to reach Kelly on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

The district Board of Trustees and superintendent reviewed the investigation results Monday night, but a final report has not been released.

The district's anti-harassment policy says each person associated with the district has the right to an atmosphere free of harassment or discrimination.

The district's conduct policy states that adults and students are expected to treat one another with respect and have the right to be physically and emotionally safe in order to create "a safe, positive, and proactive environment where both the students and the staff feel enthusiastic about learning and sharing ideas."

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Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com