- Garfield hazing: Garfield High School, the main public high school serving Capitol Hill families, has a hazing mess on its hands. Here’s a bulletin sent out by the district this week after police and the school principal witnessed more than 100 students raising hell last Friday in the Arboretum:
Late Friday afternoon, Sept. 27. Garfield Principal Ted Howard and the school’s community police officer visited the Arboretum after receiving a report of Garfield students participating in hazing incidents.
Mr. Howard sent an email on Friday evening to Garfield families describing the incident, and we have included that below.
We also wanted to provide our response:
· We have zero tolerance for bullying, hazing and intimidation, and we take it very seriously.
· We are continuing to investigate this incident.
· We are in the process of determining what type of disciplinary action is warranted for those students who were involved.
An Important Message from Principal Howard…
Do you know where your son or daughter is at tonight? I spent the afternoon with Officer Radford and many other officers walking through the Arboretum. One hundred or more Garfield students were participating in hazing incidents, drinking hard alcohol and beer. Students were being paddled, had on diapers, eggs were being thrown at students and shoe polish was all over their body. As students ran and scattered from the scene they caused at least one, maybe more car accidents due to running in front of cars. I was also called a “Nigger” by a student and many other derogatory names.
As I email you tonight I asked the question do you know where your son or daughter is at? I ask that question because I want you to know that we all have a responsibility to keep our kids safe. We all work hard to make sure they learn life lessons and make better decisions. Tonight some of our students didn’t make good decisions. If students were there to watch, cause harm to another student or behave inappropriately this impacts the entire GHS community and puts the GHS community in a negative light.
I am asked every year how we will address hazing. Every year we work really hard to teach our students about respect, how to honor each other’s cultures, and to have empathy. I am asking you tonight to continue that conversation with your son or daughter. We are a community, a community that grows together and learns together. Please have a conversation with your son and daughter about decisions, how they can and will impact people’s lives.
Thank you for your time.
Principal Garfield HS
UPDATE: We’ve included East Precinct police radio dispatches for the callout last Friday as officers sorted out the planned response to the report from callers — and the Garfield principal — that a large party was underway in the Arboretum. CHS has also learned that a two-car collision occurred as some students fled through traffic and ran from the area.
The school’s anti-hazing policy (PDF) has been posted to its web site — “Hazing incidents will be reported to ALL college school applications, career and/or work references.”
More than 1,700 students attended Garfield in the last academic year. 62% of Garfield students are non-white, according to the most recent district demographic totals.
- Meany transition plan criticized: The discussion of new growth boundaries and the plan to re-open Meany Middle school on Capitol Hill has opened a new can of worms for the district. An interim proposal to funnel kids into a Meany program before the new campus overhaul is complete next to Miller Community Center is being met with skepticism. Here’s what School Board rep Kay Smith-Blum sent to parents about a bussing proposal that would have kids commuting all the way to the southern edge of the city:
I have expressed concern about the proposal to bus students rising from McGilvra, Montlake, Stevens, Lowell & Gatzert (that would be NOW 3rd and 4th & 5th graders) to an interim location to constitute Meany beginning next year (2014). The interim location would be Van Asselt, 9 miles out of the Central Region. This is one of the potential scenarios that needs your direct input.The staff is now working on how to mitigate the over crowding at WMS for at least another year. I suggested at our last work session the exploration of refurbishing the Meany site in stages which would allow for the 6th grade roll up while the other “half” of the site is being upgraded, in a similar fashion to how we stage the Nathan Hale HS build out with the students never moved to an interim site. In this way, we MIGHT be able to negate the need for bussing and not have to move either program in the Meany building currently more than once, to their permanent sites.
Please send your input on the above to:
Meanwhile, a neighborhood parent is also looking for survey feedback about the situation. Here’s what Heather Timm says about the situation — you can take her survey here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BXD92GJ
I have two elementary aged children– 3rd and 5th grade. It is a non-scientific survey to gather more feedback on the interest and concerns surrounding Meany. I was inspired to set it up after talking to a number of parents who attended the Seattle Public Schools Growth Boundary session at Meany last night. I wanted to know if their concerns about Meany are shared by the community at large.
With the reopening of Meany Middle School on the horizon many community members are concerned about Seattle Public School’s proposal to roll-out the middle school grade by grade at the Old Van Asselt building (See Map). There is a sense that this would get Meany off to a bad start since many parents will opt for alternative middle school pathways or a private school options rather than bus their kids to school 30 – 60 minutes each way.
- Re-opening TT Minor: If you missed it, this group of parents is making a push to reopen 18th/Union’s TT Minor as an elementary school.
- Safe routes to school mini-grants: SDOT has put out a call for applications for $1,000 and under projects to “encourage walking and biking to school” –
SEATTLE – In October, during International Walk to School month, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is accepting applications for mini-grants of up to $1,000 to fund projects that educate students about pedestrian and bicycle safety, and encourage walking and biking to school. Private and public schools, PTAs and other school-related nonprofit groups may apply. The activities must support the overall goal of educating about safety and encouraging more walking and bicycling to school.
Mini-grants have helped schools start student safety patrols, attentive-driving programs, anti-idling campaigns, as well as bike safety education programs. Last year, Loyal Heights Elementary created an eight-week urban cycling club to teach fourth and fifth grade students bike safety and practice bicycling skills on neighborhood streets. McDonald ElementarySchool purchased safety supplies, including safety vests and flags, for their walking school buses. Mercer Middle Schoolbrought an Undriver Licensing Station to school for students who choose to walk and bike to school.
In previous years, schools have used their mini-grant to purchase safety patrol equipment and start a new student safety patrol program, to make traffic circulation changes on school property that increased safety for students walking and biking to school, and to start a peer-education bicycle safety program. Mini-grant funds can even support creative classroom activities that explore the benefits of walking and biking to school. Ballard High School students used a mini- grant to produce a documentary film about the Seattle Bicycle Music Festival.
International Walk to School Month is held in October of each year. This event, which is held in more than 40 countries, gives children, parents, school teachers and community leaders an opportunity to be part of a global happening as they celebrate the many benefits of walking. For more information about International Walk to School Day, visithttp://www.walkbiketoschool.
How to Apply for a Mini Grant
For more information and to apply for a Mini Grant, visit www.cityofseattle.net/
transportation/ped_srts_grant. htm. In addition to the application, a letter of support from the school principal must be e-mailed or mailed by the application due date. For questions, contact Ashley Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org. Completed applications are due by the close of business Oct. 25, 2013 and recipients will be announced by Dec. 6, 2013.