Lake Oswego hires Coaching Peace to end hazing

Coaching Peace helps schools and organizations learn new techniques

Lakeridge High School in Lake Oswego, Jan. 13, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)
Lakeridge High School in Lake Oswego, Jan. 13, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The Lake Oswego School Board approved a plan to hire a Boston-area consultant to help coaches stop hazing in the wake of an August incident with the Lakeridge dance team.

Late Tuesday night, the district announced they would implement the changes now through May using a program called Coaching Peace.

That program starts with team building workshops, consulting sessions, coaches trainings, then evaluations. There are also surveys for students, staff and parents, assessments and a handbook rewrite. It also recommends creating community committees and an online newsletter.

A screen grab of the Lakeridge High School dance team from a video posted to YouTube.
A screen grab of the Lakeridge High School dance team from a video posted to YouTube.

The incident

Lakeridge High School hired a private law firm to investigate allegations of hazing on their dance team that happened the night of August 9. A report concluded students were using alcohol and marijuana and that incoming dance team members were subjected to degrading name-calling and requests for sexual favors.

The report found first-year dance coach Kayla Nordlum told dance team members not to talk about the hazing to investigators and that there would be negative consequences if they did.

The report from a retired assistant superintendent said the district “acceded to parents requests at the time to focus on future occurrences rather than undertaking an investigation.” The report also said the district needs to review orientation procedures for new coaches.

The executive director of the Oregon School Activities Association said they try to let each district handle their own affairs.

We have the authority to sanction coaches,” Tom Welter told KOIN 6 News. “We are careful not to extend our authority where we don’t have any. We leave that up to member schools.”

One parent supportive coach Kayla Nordlum said it’s time to move on.

“Who hasn’t made a mistake? We learn from what we do, hopefully we won’t repeat the mistakes and then we move forward.”

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