Rockford police have charged two Auburn High students with mob action, and battery for taking part in what they called, "freshman beat-up day." But is it a serious problem, or just high school hazing?
Terence Gatlin and Marcus McCullough told police they held and punched a 15-year-old student in the hallway of Auburn High School on Wednesday because it was freshmen beat-up day. Fights at school are nothing new, and some say neither is freshman beat-up day.
"I've heard about freshmen beat-up day from my kids,” says parent Karen Marshall.
"It's generally either the first day of school of the last day of school,” comments junior Joe McCoy.
Freshmen beat-up day, fact or folklore? School officials, students and parents have all heard of it, and many are even afraid.
"My daughter was afraid to get on the bus because she thought she'd get beat-up,” says Marshall.
Many say fear is exactly the goal of freshman beat-up day and it rarely ends in violence.
"It's more just a joke,” says McCoy.
"It's the first time I’ve seen freshman beat-up day end in violence. Usually I hear it's freshman beat-up day and I just talk to the class about how stupid that is,” says Special Ed teacher Jennifer Macek.
Macek works with students who have trouble with anger management. She says the school takes violence and hazing very seriously.
"Yeah we've got a great team here to deal with those situations and it happens quickly and appropriately and I think they take it very seriously,” adds Macek.
The students arrested Wednesday have been released on a $1,000 bond and were suspended from school.
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Source: http://www.stophazing.org contributed to this report.