Streetsboro school board terminates band directors after hazing allegations

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

STREETSBORO, Ohio-- The Streetsboro Board of Education voted to terminate the marching band directors on Tuesday after an investigation into hazing.

The school board said in a news release it had no choice, but to enforce the district's policy on bullying and hazing. Band director Gretchen Weaver and assistant director Shane Ellsworth were fired.

The Streetsboro City School District placed the directors on leave in August to investigate alleged hazing when the band was at Camp Muskingum. The district consulted with Dr. Norman J. Pollard, a licensed counselor, and expert on hazing, school harassment and bullying.

“It is my opinion that Ms. Weaver and Ms. Ellsworth were actively involved in hazing and humiliation of the new campers," Pollard wrote in his 15-page report.

"As problematic as the sanctioned humiliation-based hazing was, the act of sanctioning and organizing the 'lake toss' event late at night after a long day of physical activity was dangerous, reckless, and negligent. The fact that both band directors stressed that no one was ever hurt (although there is evidence to the contrary) fails to justify the hazing," Pollard said.

He cited other instances were students were bombarded with water balloons, had their rooms trashed, wrapped in plastic wrap and forced to clean up after seniors.

The Streetsboro Board of Education said the following:

"We have a duty to follow the clearly established Streetsboro City School District Board guidelines to protect ALL children. We have an obligation to change the culture of hazing for our students and faculty. No student should ever be forced, coerced, manipulated, and/or compelled to participate and endure hazing rituals.   Moreover, no student should ever be taught or conditioned to think that hazing and humiliation of fellow band members and others is appropriate or acceptable."

More stories on the hazing allegations here

Streetsboro High School