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Upper St. Clair Hazing Videos, Pictures Reveal Pain, Welts, Laughing

The paddling may be done by upperclassmen as part of an 'initiation' ceremony.

Billie Williams, parent of a paddling victim, speaking at Upper St. Clair police headquarters on Friday afternoon. Credit: Robert Edward Healy, III
Billie Williams, parent of a paddling victim, speaking at Upper St. Clair police headquarters on Friday afternoon. Credit: Robert Edward Healy, III
UPDATE (Friday, 6:45 p.m.): One Upper St. Clair parent has shared her story (on video) with Patch. You can see and hear her five-minute interview above.

UPDATE (Friday, 2:30 p.m.):
Patch Editor Bob Healy watched some of the paddling videos on Friday. Two videos showed boys being struck on the naked buttocks with a long and wide stick. It is not clear what kind of stick this was.

The victims appeared to be in pain, with one of them letting out a loud grunt after being struck a second time. A small crowd of boys can be heard on the videos laughing after the paddling.

Healy also viewed multiple photos of injuries. The photos showed numerous bruises, redness and welts.

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UPPER ST. CLAIR, PA - Several parents have made complaints to the Upper St. Clair Township Police Department, alleging that their sons have been victims of an initiation ceremony that involves incoming Upper St. Clair High School freshmen being spanked by upperclassmen.

The incidents are being filmed and shared by those conducting the spankings, the parents say.

One mother said that her daughter is now in possession of one of the videos and has watched it. The mother cannot bring herself to watch the video, though, she said. The mother said that boys' pants are being pulled down before being paddled by hockey sticks.

"There is a video. My daughter looked at it. I, physically, cannot look at it ... because it makes me physically ill," the mother said.

Patch is not reporting some parents' names—at their wish—so as to protect the identity of victims.

"I can confirm that we have had some complaints registered with us from a number of parents—probably best described as a handful or so of parents—at this time," Upper St. Clair police Lt. James Englert said on Thursday, "who have raised this issue of some potential initiation, if you will, or harassment, paddling of their incoming freshmen boys by upperclassmen within the (Upper St. Clair) School District.

"It's all new information. For the most part, we are delving into it right now to take a little bit of time to talk to people additionally and see just what the scope of it is, how widespread it is, how involved it is. And we'll be working with these parents and young people to make a decision on how it's going to be handled ultimately."

Englert said that the paddling incidents "probably began towards the very end of the school year and may have continued after school was over for the year.

"We don't believe it's ongoing right now, but certainly, that's something that we'll be looking into, as well."

Multiple students who identified themselves as victims of the paddling were interviewed by police on Friday.

Englert said on Thursday that parents have shown police officers videos that show paddling incidents.

"Apparently, there is something to this," Englert said. "We have had a number of people come forward. If there are any more people who feel as though they were victimized by this matter, they can certainly feel free to call us (police), as well."

Upper St. Clair police can be reached at 412-833-7500.

School district Superintendent Patrick O'Toole issued the following statement via an emergency alert on Friday: "The district has learned of allegations of student hazing taking place this summer in the community.

"From the information gathered thus far, it appears there may have been incidents of senior students paddling entering freshmen. Both the USC Township police and the school district administration are investigating the allegations.

"The school district will work closely with local law enforcement, parents and students to address these allegations. The district has strong policies that address student harassment, including hazing, and will take appropriate action against any violators of these policies.

"We encourage anyone with information to contact Dr. (Michael) Ghilani—high school principal (412-833-1600, ext. 2829)—and the township police (412-833-7500)."

Those wishing to share their stories with Patch can contact Editor Bob Healy at 412-491-1179 or robert.healyiii@patch.com.
william atwell July 23, 2013 at 10:38 PM
Nope you prove my point!! and my daughter was hazed!! and to this day we laugh about it. you see because your "little angel children" messed with her for losing her hair because she comes from Chernoyabl USSR and well me being a redneck gave her a little ammo and she had fun with it!! and plus if it was my son who participated he would of gotten Gibb Slapped!!
Juan Adduya July 23, 2013 at 10:40 PM
Yeah, think about the children
Alex Calhoun July 23, 2013 at 10:40 PM
Perhaps your "doctor" wife should have her eyes checked to see what kind of person she really married.
william atwell July 23, 2013 at 10:42 PM
see typical response . because i do drink the kool aid and agree with your opinion that i dont get it and then you go and quesion my brain activity. typical pampered i think i am holier than though. and want to force feed i can hold my pinky higher than you. and because i live in USC therefor my children are better than yours!! you all dont get it! this stuff happens every year in every school across america it is a joke
william atwell July 23, 2013 at 10:43 PM
These freshman Participated! they did not scream No stop, im not doimg that they didnt fight back so therefor they participated! no crime in my eyes
william atwell July 23, 2013 at 10:47 PM
@ alex i can say one thing i say what i mean and i mean what i say. unlike you i have Honor, Pride and Integerty. unlike you sir people take me at my word for i do not pretend to be better than someone else. unlike you sir i do not pretened to think i never hazed anyone. unlike you sir i do more before 8am than you do all day long. Unlike you sir i have seen what REAl abuse is for I had to tag and bag the body
william atwell July 23, 2013 at 10:50 PM
@ Alex my wife came to West Virginia to meet me because in her Mt Lebo opinion most men in USC are Fake wanna be rich folks that are to poor to pay attention and spend way to much time trying to make themselves look rich instead of living life
william atwell July 23, 2013 at 10:54 PM
@ myword because if they would of screamed to stop it would of been on the internet? and annoymous would be standing protesting at the USC PD. but imstead a bunch of hot headed wind bags are on here crying the blues! that a bunch of freshman got hazed!! cry me a river please!!
william atwell July 23, 2013 at 10:59 PM
@ myword big man you are!! and plus i fingered if they did say scream no you would be givig your so called facts. plus how can anyone take you serious hiding behind a fake name. i own property on kings lane and enon valley pa. come pay a visit some time. I do feel sorry for LT Englert and the other officers for having to deal with a bunch of cry babies like you all!! actually reporting as something as dumb as this!!
Juan Adduya July 23, 2013 at 11:05 PM
I think I stand for everyone when I say keep your stinky southern fingers away from our children
william atwell July 23, 2013 at 11:09 PM
@ juan now we are playing bigott? i think at least one family is very thankful these stinking southern fingers where around there little girl!! because with my stinking little southern fingers and some Narcan she was able to breath again. and my point You all talk the talk but you dont walk the walk. so Juan i would watch telling me to keep my stupid southern fingers away because people die if i keep my fingers to myself
Kim July 23, 2013 at 11:45 PM
I have just perused most of the comments above. WOW. I don't know who William Atwell is and I thank God I don't. You are one sick human being. I don't care how you define bullying, frankly I am tired of the word myself, but pulling someone's pants down to a naked butt to paddle is just down right sickening. I am sorry but what 17/18 male wants to mess with some other guys butt let alone paddle it? That is sexual perversion. Furthermore, I don't care where one lives, no one wants some other male paddling their son's butt - by the way I am from the South - what does that have to do with anything? If the school district and/or police do not reprimand and punish these so called "young men" then we have stooped the level where we do not learn from history. By the way, what exactly does hazing accomplish? Anyone? Can you give me a positive result?
william atwell July 23, 2013 at 11:52 PM
yep here we go again because we dont drink the kool aid we are sick!! yeah hazing is a tradition just like everythig else. as long as it doenst become dangerous ie drinking or such who cares!! and kim im glad i dont know you either. dont worry folks if i every stop at a accidnet i will make sure if it is you i will walk away!! but really who cares? dont you think a better solution would be education? why charge them? what does it acomplish?!oh thats right it teaches these kids dont stand on your own two feet that you are helpless!! yeah ok!! thank god i never drank the kool aid i would have to beat myself with a sledge hammer
william atwell July 23, 2013 at 11:58 PM
i belive in what i say. because there is quit a few kids from USC i caught drinking booze and throwing beer bottles at my house. now if i would of done it youalls way i would of filmed it screamed im a victim and sue the parents. but i handled it my way. these young men and woman picked up there beer bottles cleaned there messes up. and to this day when they go by my property if they see something laying in the yard they will stop and pick it up. did they turn into criminals? no! they still goto USC high school and a few of them went off to college. they learned that night a very valuable lesson respect of one's self and of another mans rights. and they do still thank me for not straighten them out
Sheila-Joe Eskridge July 24, 2013 at 12:06 AM
Bullying is the use of force or coercion to abuse or intimidate others. The behavior can be habitual and involve an imbalance of social or physical power. It can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion and may be directed repeatedly towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of class, race, religion, gender, sexuality, appearance, behavior, or ability.[2][3] If bullying is done by a group, it is called mobbing.[4] The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a "target". Bullying can be defined in many different ways. The UK currently has no legal definition of bullying,[5] while some U.S. states have laws against it.[6] Bullying consists of four basic types of abuse – emotional (sometimes called relational), verbal, physical, and cyber.[7] It typically involves subtle methods of coercion such as intimidation. Bullying ranges from simple one-on-one bullying to more complex bullying in which the bully may have one or more "lieutenants" who may seem to be willing to assist the primary bully in his or her bullying activities. Bullying in school and the workplace is also referred to as peer abuse.[8] Robert W. Fuller has analyzed bullying in the context of rankism. A bullying culture can develop in any context in which human beings interact with each other. This includes school, family, the workplace, home, and neighborhoods. In a 2012 study of male adolescent football players, "the strongest predictor was the perception of whether the most influential male in a player's life would approve of the bullying behavior"
Sheila-Joe Eskridge July 24, 2013 at 12:11 AM
Every Pennsylvania school is required to have an anti-bullying policy incorporated into their Code of Student Conduct. The policy must identify disciplinary actions for bullying and designate a school staff person to receive complaints of bullying. The policy must be available on the school's website. Every school must provide a copy of its anti-bullying policy to the Office for Safe Schools every year, and shall review their policy every three years. Bullying Defined Pennsylvania law defines bullying as an intentional electronic, written verbal or physical act directed at another student in a school setting that is severe, persistent or pervasive, and has the effect of substantially interfering with education, creating a threatening environment or disrupting the orderly operation of the school. School setting for purposes of the law is defined broadly to include not just the school grounds, but school buses, designated bus stops, and any school-sponsored and supervised activity.
Sheila-Joe Eskridge July 24, 2013 at 12:12 AM
. Pennsylvania's harassment laws cover a wide range of incidents. The state defines harassment as one intending to annoy or alarm another person. Examples are physically harming, or threatening to, or stalking.
Sheila-Joe Eskridge July 24, 2013 at 12:16 AM
Upper St. Clair High School Information School Policies/Forms Hazing Hazing Information Our goal is to maintain a safe, positive environment for students and staff that is free from hazing. Hazing activities of any type are inconsistent with the educational goals of the district and are prohibited at all times. Hazing is defined as any activity that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental health, physical health, or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation or membership in or affiliation with any school organization. Endangering one’s physical health includes, but is not limited to, any act of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, alcoholic beverage, drug or controlled substances, or other forced physical activity that could adversely affect the physical health or safety of the individual. Endangering one’s mental health includes any activity that would subject an individual to mental stress, such as prolonged sleep deprivation, forced prolonged exclusion from social contact, forced conduct, forced conduct which could result in embarrassment, or any other forced activity which could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual. Any hazing activity, whether by an individual or a group, shall be presumed to be a forced activity, even if a student willingly participates. The school does not condone any form of initiation or harassment, know as hazing, as part of any school sponsored student activity. No student, coach, sponsor, volunteer or district employee shall plan, direct, encourage, assist, condone, tolerate or engage in any hazing activity. Students who have been subjected to hazing are to promptly report such incidents to an administrator, coach, sponsor, or supervisor. The administration will investigate all complaints of hazing and will administer appropriate discipline when violations occur. The consequences include an out-of-order, detention and/or suspension, possible recommendation for expulsion, and/or possible criminal prosecution
Juan Adduya July 24, 2013 at 12:21 AM
Well look who's able to use the Internet
Purple Rider July 24, 2013 at 12:23 AM
12 Sad Stories of Hazing Gone Wrong - Mandatory Hazing is not cool. ... With college students across the country back in school, many of them look forward to frat parties filled with kegs of beer, “Animal House ... www.mandatory.com/.../18/12-sad-stories-of-hazing-gone-wrong - Cached. The website above shows 12 examples of hazing that got out of control. Here are the "what if's". I for one am glad I was not on the receiving end of one of the phone calls these parents answered. These freshmen boys could have become a statistic.
Charles Smith July 24, 2013 at 02:48 PM
It's a joke to call these kids victims of bullying or assualt. As it was said before, these kids participated in this. Watch the video, the one "victim" and "bully" HUG after the kid takes a lick!!!! Weird how this wasn't an issue until some mom saw the video and brought all this negative light to USC. This has been going on for years. Now these "victims" will head into the school year with their reputations soiled instead of having the respect that they earned before their mothers became involved.
Purple Rider July 24, 2013 at 11:38 PM
I believe these freshmen boys will walk the halls with great pride; 2017....a class that finally put a stop to the assaults. Retaliation will not be tolerated. Many comments say "let it be lesson learned"...this lesson has been taught to these seniors for many years. How much more can your school, parents and community teach you about bullying before you get it?
Purple Rider July 25, 2013 at 12:55 AM
Hazing in American High Schools What amazed me was the documented research that high school students engaged in hazing - some of it quite violent and dangerous too. Why do parents, teachers, administrators and school boards permit hazing? Hank Nuwer: There has been a long-standing, simplistic attitude that hazing builds unity or is a "natural" part of childhood. For one thing, administrators, student newspaper advisers, or school board members that stand up against hazing often find themselves alone--branded as a pariah, rabblerouser, and so on. There have been school board meetings where lone parents or a group of parents have come in to say that soccer or football are tough sports, and that those who would get rid of hazing are weakening the participants and killing the team itself. I also have talked with administrators who fear that prohibitions and policies actually encourage some would-be hazers by making it a rebellious or daring activity they must do. Again, I think we start with education. We make people (including parents, principals, coaches) defend their stances with facts and logic--not emotion and blind following of long outdated traditions like hazing. I really think we need to do this before we have a string of high school deaths on our hands. We as a community have a chance to reduce this problem before it gets so big that it escapes our hands. Witness how hard colleges have it to stop deaths from problem drinking and hazing. I think if the issue of college deaths had been addressed more forcibly in the 1970s when it became obvious they were occurring, the cumulative number of deaths now would be lower.
Kim July 25, 2013 at 12:47 PM
Mr. Atwell, is walking away from the injured or ill as you threaten part of the EMT oath? I see how seriously you take that oath.
Robert Edward Healy, III July 25, 2013 at 10:13 PM
"Word on the Street: Reactions to Hazing in Upper St. Clair" - http://upperstclair.patch.com/groups/schools/p/word-on-the-street-reactions-to-hazing-in-upper-st-clair
Purple Rider July 26, 2013 at 02:13 PM
New York Students Charged for Paddling Middle Schoolers in ... Three New York high school students face felony and misdemeanor charges in connection with the alleged hazing of eighth graders in their suburban town in ... abcnews.go.com/US/...schoolers-hazing-ritual/...id=16497980 More results from abcnews.go.com » Called Freshman Friday in this school community went on for years and the local police did nothing until one freshman landed in the hospital. It's Upper St. Clair's story already played out with the "what if's".
Joe Black July 26, 2013 at 06:02 PM
I am not sure why people think that it is okay for kids to threaten other kids with more future violence if those kids do not succumb to assault at that moment. What I am sure of is that if the aggressors, i.e., "kids being kids", were black kids from East Liberty having threatened more severe future violence to justify the current assault, the USC police and parents would be adamant that it was assault and that criminal punishment should be pursued. However, that's not the case here. Instead, we have kids from fairly well-off families resident in USC committing the crimes. And from their BMW-reckless driving parents, those kids assume it to be ok to be aggressive under the guise of "initiation" or "kids being kids". They think it's ok to make other kids drop their pants, beat them, video tape it, laugh and mock them. That it's ok to humiliate those kids above and beyond hurting them. Those are the same kinds of kids that go off to Duke or UVA and commit crimes against other people because they've not been taught appropriate behavior at home or in their community. IT NEEDS TO STOP - and the police need to do something other than policing tall grass or front yard parking bandits. Again, however, I am sure that if the "kids being kids" were black boys from East Liberty, it wouldn't be "kids being kids" but, instead, would be vicious criminals coming in from the hood committing crimes against "us". TO THE USC POLICE - DO YOUR JOB - make it safer for us and our kids. TO PARENTS WHO THINK IT'S OK - GET a clue, parent your kids today to prevent the next college-related crime by one of your well-off kids who are able to get away with so much at home but not when they enter the real world. Lastly, please remember that Dandelions are not flowers.
Purple Rider July 26, 2013 at 06:50 PM
Well said Joe Black. The story I referred to took place in Rye City School District Nationally ranked 61 Upper St. Clair 179 Only 4% economically disadvantaged. Us 3% 14% minority Us 10% Eerily the same. Swift action and severe consequences there...here nothing! Remorse...only one student out of many.
myword July 26, 2013 at 07:04 PM
Joe--you are absolutely spot on! @purple rider.....my dear, are you telling me that STILL since our meeting, and since charges have been filed, nothing has been done? To me, zero tolerance means swift and immediate, punishment. Agreed?
amanda johns July 27, 2013 at 11:23 PM
@purple rider you comment that only one out of many feels remorse, have you talked with all of the students accused?

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