The news is swirling with video and images of high school students at Hazard High School, where the annual homecoming took a sharp left, right the hell off the rails when students and staff decided to throw a “Man Pageant.”
But if you’re thinking of teen boys wearing suits and ties and walking a catwalk, you’d be mistaken.
Hazard High School’s version of a “Man Pageant” allegedly included scantily clad kids giving lap dances to the principal, who doubles as the town’s mayor.
A troupe of teen girls was photographed wearing short-shorts with white tee-shirts that read “Hooters” across the chest while carrying what appeared to be beer or a liquid intended to look like beer.
Another student is seen twerking in a bikini.
Other images on social media show what appears to be a student wearing red lingerie and straddling an adult’s leg while holding one hand behind that same adult’s head.
Another student wearing what looks like black lingerie is seen squatting in front of Mr. Happy.
And, it continues to make its rounds online. Kristin Pierce tweeted:
There’s an investigation now after photos of what’s known as “man pageant” at Hazard High School appeared on social media. Here are a few of the pics.
Inappropriate or in good fun? pic.twitter.com/sASwZgrQ90
— Kristin Pierce (@KPierceTV) October 28, 2021
But suppose you think that this was just an outlier situation that probably sounded like a hilarious idea at the time but maybe the execution was bad? In that case, you’d be mistaken there, too.
Hazard High School has a bit of a history of making super inappropriate decisions about homecoming themes. Take 2020’s theme, for example.
In 2020 the school allegedly held a similarly inappropriately themed homecoming where at least one student was recorded dancing to Madonna’s 1984 hit, Like a Virgin, while suggestively touching the town’s mayor and principal, Mr. Happy.
But it doesn’t end there because parents have been quoted in various news stories that these inappropriate homecoming themes go back years.
So, what has the fallout been so far? Grab some popcorn, and let’s watch this shitshow implode together, shall we?
Someone at Hazard High School Athletics department thought it would be fit to post the shocking images to their school’s Facebook page.
They’ve since been hidden, but thanks to the power of social media, you can’t get through a newsfeed today without seeing them anyway. Go, Hazard.
Then the Kentucky Department of Education posted a tweet thread that read in part,
“The @KyDeptofEd is aware of an incident involving @HazardInd & has been in contact with the superintendent, who has informed us that it is under investigation.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, some parents are understandably outraged by this stunt, while others are apparently of cool with it.
Jenna Smith, who allegedly has a family member who attends Hazard High School, told WLEX, an NBC Universal affiliated local station out of Kentucky,
“The way that I think about it, is I think that, yes, the kids should just be kids, and they should be allowed to have fun,” Smith said.
“But is giving a lap dance or witnessing somebody else give an adult a lap dance? Is that a child-appropriate activity? And to me, it is not.”
Not everyone agrees with Smith’s perspective, however. One parent expressed to WLEX that this was being blown out of proportion and that no one was hurt. Besides, kids are just being kids. Hmm. Ok, lady.
“If everybody is perfect, then I would say yeah, maybe we do need to rethink something,” Hollie Layne told WLEX. “But until somebody can prove that something is going on here other than just homecoming week and teenagers being teenagers, then I will support my kids.”
Hazard High School’s superintendent made a statement that has also been circulating online.
She seemed to think that teens giving adults lap dances was nothing more than some traditional fun that got out of hand and implied that this may have been a one-off incident.
But as we saw above, there is a history of questionable homecoming themes that are more R-rated than any school ought to be.
“The activities were part of Homecoming festivities and were driven by the students. We strive to foster creativity in our students, but unfortunately, this time it was carried too far. 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.
While Homecoming is an annual tradition, there has never been any issue raised prior to this year. Now that an issue has arisen, we are taking this opportunity to review policy and procedures to make certain that it does not happen again.”
In a video posted to Facebook, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said that “What happened in Hazard, shouldn’t. We should have better judgment than that.”
Why throwing a lap dance party is even a debate about appropriateness is beyond me.
Yes, teens can sometimes have gutter brains and make stupid choices.
But the adults over at Hazard High School have had many opportunities to show their students that there is a line between hilarious ideas and outrageously inappropriate.
There is a serious lack of judgment when anyone thinks a minor giving any adult — but especially an adult in power — a lap dance as a form of entertainment at a public school could be construed as “traditional” “good” “fun”.