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School district officials ask for information following hazing incident

By Alex Cabrero, KSL TV | Posted - Sep. 10, 2019 at 8:40 a.m.

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ST. GEORGE — Washington County School District officials are asking any victims of a hazing incident at Desert Hills High School to talk with police after receiving threats that a full video of the incident will be released.

Police said no formal charges have been filed because no victims have come forward.

“We had a hazing incident that took place in June,” said Steven Dunham, Washington County School District communications director.

Earlier this month, a senior cheerleader who allegedly hazed younger girls was kicked off the team for a different violation, according to officials.

School district officials said the father of that cheerleader then threatened to release the full video of what happened if his daughter was not put back on the team.

Dunham couldn’t go into details of the incident but said it involved members of the school’s cheerleading team. Durham said some of the older girls on the team did things to some of the younger members and videotaped it.

School administrators said they received a clip of the video in early July.

“The administration at the school took action, thought they had resolved issues and really thought they had taken care of things,” Dunham said.

Administrators said they did not know there was a full video.

“We felt like there was a need to revisit the initial investigation,” Dunham said. “They copied and they are distributing copies of the videos throughout the community. These videos contain a semi-nude juvenile female and that’s not appropriate.”

School district officials contacted St. George Police but said no formal charges had been filed against the parent on Monday because no victims have come forward.

“When you have parents and students that are hesitant to come forward, you have a culture that needs to change,” Dunham said. “They’re fearing retribution and we want the truth to come out because it helps everybody in the long run.”

KSL has learned the name of the parent involved, but, since he has not been formally charged at this point, did not feel it was appropriate to identify him.

If a cheerleader who was involved in this incident is willing to come forward and speak to police, Dunham said there could be consequences.

“Hazing will not be tolerated in our schools,” he said.

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