For the last ten to fifteen years, the first day of school at Millburn High School has hosted an event that continues today. Every year, the “popular” seniors send out a “slut list”, slap stickers on student’s backs, blow whistles in faces, and shove students into lockers. The victims of these activities are usually the “popular” incoming freshmen. In 2010, the event gained media attention and the administration has done their best to discontinue this tradition. The administration at Millburn High School will not be able to stop the first day of school activities, and, therefore, should not be involved. The amount of students that participate and the fact that no one will speak up will make it extremely difficult for anyone to stop this tradition.
The most influential factor is that there are so many students that participate. This year there was “…the distribution of a ‘slut list,’ including vulgar descriptions of more than 20 freshmen.” (5) Consequently, for every freshmen involved there is at least one senior that is also involved. The number of people that participate makes it virtually impossible for any administrative action to stop the happenings at Millburn High School. The administration would have to discipline a huge clique each year in the senior class. In concerning the “slut list”, “When a kid says, ‘I just found it on the floor and picked it up,’ it becomes a little bit messier.” (2) The difficulty of targeting each individual who participates should only further discourage any administrative involvement.
Furthermore, the fact that no one is willing to speak up causes a serious problem. “We spoke to at least a dozen freshmen and half a dozen seniors, and not one person wanted to really give any names…none of the 150 faculty members reported seeing any hazing incidents this year…” (3) This is very hard to believe considering the amount of students participating and the trouble they supposedly cause. It is simply not possible that no one witnessed any sort of “hazing”. This could be a result of fear or they do not wish to stop the events, along with freshmen who are even on the list. How can an administration discipline students if they do not have any evidence that they did anything wrong? “There’s very little we can really do if a student doesn’t come to us and say this is what happened.” (2) It just simply is not possible.
No only is it an insurmountable task to stop the first day events, but staff should not try to stop the events in the first place. A graduate herself even stated “I knew that it was a harmless tradition …while there really is no reason for seniors to feel the need to exert their power over incoming students, it is HARMLESS.” (6) Therefore, it should not be considered hazing. “There have been no reports of injuries requiring medical attention…” (2) Yet, in many other high schools incoming freshmen are physically abused and publicly humiliated, which should be classified as hazing. A dumb list and being shoved into lockers or whistles blown in faces should not. No, true hazing is much, much worse. The administration should only be responsible for keeping the events under control; however, not eliminating the tradition all together.
In conclusion, the Millburn High School “hazing”, which has been happening for ten to fifteen years now, has been blown way out of proportion. “…they’re taking stuff and twisting it…really it’s all fun.” (1) The administration of the school will not be able to stop the events due to the amount of people involved and the fact that no one will speak up. They should not try to stop it, just control it. The freshmen of 2010 should be able to continue the tradition when they are the seniors of 2014. It is simply a harmless tradition that should just be left alone.