Swimmers Hazed and Confused

Seniors suspended for Deerfield High School prank

Members of Deerfield High School's swim team and their parents hope a meeting with the school's principal on Tuesday will afford them some leniency after more than a dozen seniors were suspended from the team amid hazing allegations.

The controversy stems from Senior Night activities on Feb. 6, considered a long-standing tradition with the Warrior swim team family.

"The underclassmen go about the community, and they throw toilet paper on the trees. They'll hold onto them, put them in their car, drive them to the next location and then let them go." parent Steve Brew said.

"We'll run towards them and be like, 'Ha, got you.' So, it's basically, it's like a game of tag," explained senior swimmer Michael Brew.

Administrators got wind of the Senior Night situation and called in several members of the swim team for interviews after practice Thursday night. By Friday, the 13 senior swimmers had been found in violation of the school’s hazing policy and were pulled from the team, parents say.

As a consequence, none of them competed in Saturday’s conference meet, which was won by rival Glenbrook North.

Parents of the students said they were surprised to learn how broadly the school defines hazing.

"Everyone's sad. Everyone's shocked. Everyone's confused," said Michael Brew.

According to the Deerfield High School student handbook, hazing can include, among other things, “a situation in which an older student subjects a younger student to rites of initiation.” The handbook adds: “The fact that a student participates voluntarily in a hazing or inappropriate initiation activity does not alter the district’s prohibition of such conduct.”

"We contacted Deerfield police. They're aware of it, and they've been aware of it for years. For this to be found to be a hazing incident, just completely blew our minds."

[Read more in the Deerfield Review.]

Contact Us