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Students in Hazing Brawl Suspended

May 13, 2003|From Associated Press

GLENVIEW, Ill. — A suburban high school Monday suspended several seniors involved in a brutal off-campus hazing melee and will recommend the girls be expelled.

Principal Michael Riggle of Glenbrook North High School said he took the steps after the district's lawyer advised him that the school had broader powers to discipline students for the videotaped incident than he had thought.

Within hours, one of the students filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court seeking a temporary restraining order to keep the school from suspending her, according to her attorney.

"You are entitled to an education, so when someone takes that right from you without giving you due process, they have violated [your] due process rights," said Naomi Valas, who is representing Marnie Holz.

Valas said Holz, 18, has been accepted to the University of Wisconsin. She did not know if the suspension puts that in jeopardy.

The 10-day suspensions are the longest the school can mete out, Riggle said. He said it would be up to the district to decide whether to expel the students, which would bar them not only from campus but from the prom and graduation ceremonies.

Junior girls from the school were beaten and showered with mud, feces and garbage by seniors on May 4 at a Cook County park. Five girls were injured seriously enough that they had to go to the hospital.

The video has been shown on national television, to the embarrassment of the well-to-do Chicago suburb of Northbrook.

Riggle would not say how many students were suspended, citing the privacy of educational records. He said only senior girls who participated in the hazing were suspended.

All those suspended will be recommended for expulsion, he said. Expulsion would not prevent seniors from graduating. Those who have not yet earned enough credits will be sent to "alternative education" to complete their studies, Riggle said.

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