Wisconsin high school football team reportedly gave 'swirlies' to teammates

Published On: Oct 04 2013 07:46:31 AM HST   Updated On: Oct 04 2013 07:46:52 AM HST

An incident involving Greendale High School football players has some parents outraged.

On the field, the Greendale Panthers are having one of the best seasons in school history, but an off-the-field incident during a week-long summer camp in August at Carroll University is sparking controversy.

"We uncovered that there was a tradition when this retreat happens that people are receiving what they call swirlies, at the camp," Greendale High School Principal Steve Lodes said. "I would assume it's some level of someone's head being flushed in a toilet."

Lodes said up to 50 players may have been subjected to swirlies.

However, during his investigation, Lodes' learned several of the boys volunteered to participate, so the school said while the incident was inappropriate, it wasn't hazing.

"This is not a tradition anymore that we are proud of or we want to continue," Lodes said.

A letter was sent home to parents, but no further discipline was taken.

The incident has upset some members of the Generations Against Bullying committee in Greendale who said the students' behaviors constitute hazing.

In a statement to WISN 12 News the group said, "Generations Against Bullying finds it appalling that this specific hazing occurred."

The group also said the fallout on Facebook after was not what they expected.

"We should find the parent and swirlie them and their kid again," said one parent.

WISN 12 News asked one parent to explain his comment which read, "I am so sorry everyone. My son's a bully. I guess I raised him right."

"It was a joke, OK? If anyone thinks my kid is a bully, why don't they address it with me? Address it with the school," said Edward Pipp, parent of a Greendale football player.

Some of the other parents WISN 12 News spoke with also said it is part of the school's tradition but can see how others think of such activities as bullying.

The principal and athletic director said the football coach took the matter very seriously and wrote the letter to parents himself.


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