Former Woodrow PTA president Emily Martin talked to us about the Woodrow Lil Sis-Big Sis tradition, which has, in the last couple days, garnered complaints of hazing from a parent of an involved (anonymous) freshman (more on that here).

While Martin doesn’t know any details about the events of last week’s controversial Big Sis event, she does recall her own daughter’s participation in 2006.

“The parents all knew what was going on and gave permission. The girls got excited and stayed up all night preparing,” she says. Martin and her fellow moms even got up and cooked breakfast for the girls.

There’s always some risk with kids this age, she says, and you’re allowing them to get away with some things they normally wouldn’t get away with, she says. “For starters, they are breaking curfew."

"Each family and individual draws a different line when it comes to the threshold for horseplay and teasing,” Martin says, not necessarily referring to this particular case, but about this type of tradition in general. When you get in this situation with youngsters, someone is always going to try to push the envelope," she says.

(This sort of thing isn’t uncommon, by the way. Freshman kidnapping/teasing/humiliation was a big player at Bishop Lynch back in the ’90s when my siblings were in school there — not so much at Bryan Adams where I went to school, though.)

She says it’s important to note that no one was injured and also that the event is not sanctioned by the school.

Though she can’t speculate on what will happen to those involved in the alleged hazing, she does point out that hazing laws exist in Texas. (They do. In fact they are highlighted on Woodrow’s web site). She also says she expects Woodrow to address this with the same judiciousness she has come to expect from its administrators in her years as a parent and volunteer.

Woodrow’s principal has not responded to our request for comment at the time of this posting, though I’m sure she’s had a busy day.

DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander says the event is under investigation and that the official statement from the district is likely the last they’ll say on the subject for the time being: That is, “the district received information yesterday afternoon regarding an alleged incident involving students from Woodrow Wilson High School. The proper authorities have been notified and an investigation is under way."

We will follow this and keep you posted.


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