A Southern California high school band is facing allegations of hazing after a 14-year-old girl told her mother what she experienced during a band initiation.
Stephanie Hughes told NBC4 that her daughter, a student at Downey High School who did not want to be identified, was blindfolded “with what looked like a dirty sanitary napkin” as part of the initiation Monday. Hughes said her daughter’s wrists were taped up and she had to walk up stadium stairs blindfolded.
"That’s not funny and I don’t appreciate it," Hughes said. "I placed my child in the school district’s hands, in Downey High School hands, and I felt like nobody protected her."
A former band member and graduate of Downey High School said that initiations have happened before and parents were aware of the process, but said it was nothing as extreme as what Hughes’ daughter allegedly experienced.
Hughes said cell phone video was taken of the incident. She was shown the video by the principal when she went to the school Tuesday to remove her daughter from the school.
"I should have been notified and said, ‘hey as part of our camp, the kids like to play jokes and do such and such and such, would you allow her to do it,’ and I could have said no," Hughes said.
The school district’s Director of Student Affairs said there is no tolerance for any initiation, and that while an investigation into the incident continues, there have been no reports of bodily harm or injury.
"Normally you don't hear about these cases until somebody dies. She could have had a heart problem or a mental condition, that this just would have really, really been bad," Hughes said.
Prior to a prescheduled meeting, the school administration met with band members and their parents to discuss what allegedly happened Monday.