Hazing gets facelift

The Southerner

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On the first day of school, most freshmen are extremely nervous about a variety of things: navigating a new school, making new friends or just stressing about their high school career in general. The seniors, however, attempted to lighten their stress load by initiating them into Grady’s illustrious society in a unique way.

And so, on the first Wednesday and Friday of this school year, the class of 2014 continued the annual “freshmen dragging” tradition. After crossing 10th Street and entering Piedmont Park, many of the seniors (including some Southerner staffers) covered dozens of fresh- men with school “spirit”; in this case, school spirit took the form of shaving cream, silly string and glitter. After they were coated in a thick layer of spirit, they were dragged down the hill in Piedmont Park, much to the amusement of the upperclassmen.

Unlike past classes, however, this year’s seniors ditched the harsh ex- tremities of zip-ties and ramps; instead, our class focused on making the “hazing” a fun experience for both seniors and freshmen. Yes, the fresh- men got a little messy, but there was no harm intended and participation in the dragging was completely voluntary. Despite the seniors’ best intentions, our class fully anticipated the administration would go crazy as soon as we started corralling the freshmen in the courtyard and would retaliate with daily senior meetings to keep us in check.

Instead, in a surprising turn of events, administrators actually helped lead students across the street. As the seniors walked over to Piedmont Park, silly string in hand, they checked in to ensure everyone stayed safe. They, like the freshmen, understood that this was a harmless, enjoyable activity, and they allowed us to continue one of Grady’s most well-known traditions.

We would like to take this time to thank the administration for trusting the senior class. Though they had their reservations at first, they under- stood the frivolity and fun of the situation and let the seniors continue, because although they were literally dragging the freshmen down a grassy hill, they were metaphorically dragging them out of middle school and into high school.

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