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Posts Tagged ‘Big Sky High School hazing’

Football Players Suspended For Hazing in Montana

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

My husband and I read the local Missoula newspaper each morning at breakfast. It is called the  Missoulian and has some of the finest writers and photo journalists in the country.  Many come here to the University Of Montana for the school of journalism and then stay because of the beautiful country and caring community.  We are very fortunate to have them.

November 3, 2010 there were two articles that especially struck our interests and started a good conversation.  Jamie Kelly, who has done an excellent job of covering the bullying controversy in the community, wrote about a hazing incident that probably started out innocent and playful, but could have ended in a tragedy for one or more teens.  The four students, all football players and seniors, are serving three to 10 day suspensions for the role in the hazing, which happened after football practice at Big Sky High School.

This was a hard lesson to learn for the kids, the team, the school and the community.

Teen age boys sometimes make decisions that will have far reaching effects for the future.

At least 10 students, sophomores and juniors were shot in the back or buttocks with a pump action Airsoft pellet gun that was brought into school in an athletic gear bag.  None of the kids “ratted” to teachers or administration.  But one mom was concerned enough to call officials.  The prinicipal Laboski was quoted in the article as saying “A lot of kids said it didn’t bother them, that it was no big deal.”

But it could have been a very big deal.

On the same page as the article by Jamie Kelly was one by Nick Gevock, of the Montana Standard.  His report was about teens and guns too.  But these teens had gone hunting with their fathers and grandfather.  This is a time honored practice in Montana.  A little male bonding, a little sharing of family stories and learning values and standards from various generations.

However, these 5 five young men aged from 13 to 16 learned a lesson too.  When the teens woke up and discovered the adults who had slept in anothertent with a propane heater were unconscious, they acted with keen minds and problem solved a situation that was very frightening.  One of the teens drove back off the isolated road to get into cell coverage and made an emergency call.  The other four stayed in camp and pulled the men out into the fresh air and safety.

Even though the boys were not sure what to do precisely, they recognized that they needed to step up and do something positive in order to change the outcome of the situation.

The adults are recuperating and the boys are probably saying “Oh, it was no big deal.”

But it could have been a very big deal.

For more information on hazing, bullying, encouraging bystanders to step up, please see

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