A Kentucky school district has issued an apology over photos appearing to show students giving lap dances to faculty and staff members at a homecoming event.
Earlier this week, images from what Hazard High School called a “Man Pageant” surfaced online, showing students dressed in underwear and giving lap dances to members of the faculty in the school’s gymnasium. Among those featured in the photos was Hazard High School Principal Donald “Happy” Mobelini, who also happens to be the mayor of Hazard.
WHDH reports that Hazard Independent School District superintendent Sondra Combs addressed the disturbing images in a letter shared this week. She stated in the letter that she has been made aware of the concerns, and the activities were part of a homecoming event that was led by students at the school.
“We strive to foster creativity in our students, but unfortunately, this time it was carried too far,” Combs’ letter reads. “Spirit Week at Hazard High School has a long and celebrated tradition. 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.”
An investigation was launched when the photos first started to circulate online, and Combs said that disciplinary action has already been taken. “As it is a personnel matter, we are not allowed to disclose any further information regarding the specifics of the discipline,” she said.
"Our district would like to apologize for the activity that has been portrayed in the media and we regret how this has unfolded,” she 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.”
She said that the controversy surrounding the images will be used as a “teachable moment,” and both students and staff will be provided with “social media training.” She added, “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.”
Going forward the school will have a dress code for all events, and costumes will be reviewed for “appropriateness.”