School district officials in Katy, Texas are investigating reports of off-campus hazing occurring between varsity and junior varsity cheerleaders from Morton Ranch High School. (Katy, Texas, for those who are interested, is the hometown of actress Renee Zellweger, who was once a cheerleader herself.) A parent of a girl on the junior varsity squad reported to the school's principal that the varsity cheerleaders "kidnapped" junior varsity members, bound their hands and mouths with duct tape, blindfolded them, and tossed them into a pool last Friday morning. Sure, it all sounds very Jawbreakers-like, but is this an example of girl-on-girl crime, or are these girls just dumb enough to think that their dangerous prank was all fun and games?Police have taken statements from the cheerleaders but the school district is withholding the statements from the press for the time being, so there are no details to the case. There are a few questions, the answer to which would explain if this was a case of some classic mean cheerleader antics (a varsity cheerleader's ex-boyfriend would be involved, a MTV movie would be made starring a C-list actor/singer as the head cheerleader) or just some classic dumb hazing "rituals" made by young women who probably watched too many late-'90s high school films: How long did the girls stay in the water bound and gagged? Did the parents of the junior varsity cheerleaders know that their child would be "kidnapped" (which one parent of a varsity squad member seems to imply in a statement she gave to the Houston Chronicle)? More importantly, was anyone injured during the whole ordeal? According to Texas Education Code, students who participate in hazing can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a maximum fine of $2,000 and/or up to 180 days in jail. Granted, any parent should be concerned for their child's safety, regardless if their child was willingly partaking in an invented ritual to make some cheerleaders feel important or if their child was a victim of a violent crime. But as more details of this case come out, the situation will probably be sensationalized as another case of violent girls beating up other girls, with the added "sex appeal" surrounding cheerleading thrown into the mix (let's not forget how much the media - and Dazed & Confused director Richard Linklater - loves a bad girl Texan cheerleader). Is hazing really girl-on-girl crime, or is it just idiotic people being, well, idiots? Officials Probe Cheerleader Hazing Case [UPI] Katy ISD Probes Report Of Cheerleader Hazing [Houston Chronicle] 'Mean Girls' [Newsweek] Related: The 2007-2008 Varsity Cheerleaders! [Morton Ranch High School Cheerleader's Page]
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