A Kentucky high school is under investigation by its district after photos surfaced of male students dressed in bras and panties giving male staff members–including the school principal–lap dances.
The district says the incident at Hazard High School in Hazard, Kentucky, was part of the school’s homecoming events earlier this week, according to CBS News. The photos of the event were originally posted to the “Hazard High School Athletics” Facebook page, according to the Courier Journal, but the post has since been deleted from the site.
The photos, which have been widely shared across social media, were part of an event called a “man pageant” and showed teenage boys dressed in women’s lingerie giving male school staff members lap dances. The adults in the photos appear to be clapping and laughing.
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Among the staff members photographed next to a dancing student was the school’s principal Donald “Happy” Mobelini, who is also the city’s mayor. Other photos show female students dressed in homemade Hooters uniforms and carrying beer glasses.
Legend Goins, a senior at the school, told CBS affiliate WKYT that the event “wasn’t meant to be anything sexual.”
“It was just a joke so we could get more laughs,” Goins told the station.
“I think that everyone’s taking it way too far,” said student John Mackslover. “Every year up to this year, I would say they’re just as vulgar, as you would put it.”
In a statement that was posted on the district website, Superintendent Sondra Combs said that the photos showed “inappropriate student-led activities” and that the district has a responsibility to address the issue.
“We strive to foster creativity in our students, but unfortunately, this time it was carried too far,” Combs said. “…Homecoming activities were planned as a celebration for students, staff, and the school community. All were intended to be fun and good-natured however, the activities did not play out as intended.”
Combs added that the school’s dress code was not followed during the incident and in order to avoid any future issues, costumes “will be reviewed for appropriateness.”
The district said that it conducted “appropriate disciplinary action” following the incident and it will not disclose information about what actions were taken.
A student activity committee is being developed to “review all student-led activities, which should prevent any such skits from being performed in the future,” the district said.
Additionally, students and staff are expected to undergo policy and procedure trainings to “ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
“Using this as a teachable moment, we will provide social media training for our students and staff,” Combs said. “In today’s society students must understand that anything posted online is permanent! It is there on public display for everyone to see and share around the globe. We would hate to see a single youthful indiscretion haunt one of our children for their entire life.”
“Our district would like to apologize for the activity that has been portrayed in the media and we regret how this has unfolded,” Combs continued. “This is not the type of event that typically occurs here at Hazard High School, and we sincerely regret any embarrassment this has caused our school community.”
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