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Hazard superintendent: 'Disciplinary action' taken after homecoming activities go viral

Images of the assembly posted online showed male students dressed in women's lingerie dancing on school officials, including the principal.
Credit: Helistockter - stock.adobe.com

HAZARD, Ky. — A school superintendent in eastern Kentucky said disciplinary action has been taken after photos of a student-led homecoming activity were posted on social media.

According to WTVQ in Lexington, the photos were taken during a series of skits, called the "Man Pageant" at Hazard High School. The images show male students dressed in women's lingerie dancing on school officials, including the principal, Donald Mobelini — who is also Hazard's mayor.

The photos also showed female students dressed as Hooters employees, carrying drinks made to look like beer.

Many parents were outraged when the images were shared online. Some called the skits inappropriate and offensive, while others said it was a fun, harmless tradition that was blown out of proportion.

Sondra Combs, the superintendent for Hazard Independent School District, released a statement regarding the incident Wednesday.

"The district has the responsibility to address these issues that arise out of school-based activities," Combs said in the statement. "As a district, we are doing exactly that."

Combs said the activities were part of Hazard High School's "Spirit Week" and were organized by the students. She said the school wanted to foster creativity in its students, but "this time it was carried too far."

She said "appropriate disciplinary action" has been taken following an investigation, but did not elaborate on the specifics. Future student-led activities will be reviewed by a student activity committee and social media training will be provided to students and staff, according to the statement.

"At the end of the day, the light-hearted activity simply got out of hand, and for that, we apologize. In the future, we will strive to keep the lighthearted, fun nature of school activities without the inappropriate behavior," Combs said.

In a tweet, the Kentucky Department of Education said it was aware of the incident and was in contact with Superintendent Combs.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said the Department of Education must take action. 

"Totally unacceptable, inappropriate, shouldn't happen," the governor said.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38APZZ3uFAk

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