100+ Garfield High Students Involved in Hazing Incident, Principal Called N-Word

Oct 1, 2013

Seattle school officials are looking into a mass hazing incident involving more than 100 Garfield High School students at Seattle’s Arboretum Friday night. 

In an email to parents, Garfield High Principal Ted Howard said students were hitting each other with paddles, throwing eggs and drinking beer. Students were also found covered in shoe polish and wearing diapers.

When Howard arrived on the scene, one of the students called him the N-word. Howard is black.

"This particular incident was very distressing to him and unfortunate," said Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Teresa Wippel.

Wippel said Seattle police responded to the arboretum on Friday, but have not made any arrests. Both the school district and Garfield High are investigating whether any disciplinary action will be taken against students.

The district has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to bullying and hazing, Wippel said.

“Garfield has had a history of this hazing, and it’s something that’s been going on for many years. It’s kind of a tradition," she said. "The principal has been working hard to rectify to get students to stop doing it, but it has been something that’s been going on for a while."

Last year, a parent wrote in a school newsletter that Garfield upperclassmen typically haze younger students twice a year—around Homecoming in the fall and during Spirit Week in the spring.