HAZARD, Kentucky — Homecoming activities at a high school are under scrutiny after photos posted online show male students dressed in lingerie and appearing to give lap dances to teachers.
Among the staff members pictured at Hazard High School is the principal, who also happens to be the town’s mayor, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports. WKYT reports that the controversial activities occurred Tuesday at an assembly at the high school during homecoming week. The Louisville Courier Journal reports the activities were part of a “Man Pageant” and “Costume Day.”
In addition to lingerie-clad male students giving lap dances to teachers, female students dressed in outfits similar to those worn by servers at Hooters restaurants and carried what appeared to be mugs of beer, WKYT reports.
Some students and staff reportedly were paddled during the assembly. Pictures were posted on the high school’s Facebook athletics page, but have been taken down, WKYT reports. Hazard High School Principal Donald “Happy” Mobelini, who is also mayor of the city, was pictured receiving a lap dance, the Courier Journal reports. A parent posted some of the photos from the school’s athletics page on Facebook.
Nema Brewer, cofounder of education advocacy group KY 120 United, posted photos from the event on Twitter. “Um. Exactly what is going on here, y’all? C’mon Hazard. Get it together,” Brewer wrote in the post.
“Public education is under so much fire right now,” Brewer tells the Herald-Leader. “This kind of stuff is not helpful. In fact, it’s disgusting. It appears they are sexualizing young adults.”
Sondra Combs, superintendent of Hazard Independent Schools, tells the Courier Journal that “appropriate punishments” have been issued after an investigation. However, Combs did not reveal details on the punishments.
“We strive to foster creativity in our students, but unfortunately, this time it was carried too far,” Combs said in a statement, according to WKYT.