Robert E. Lee High School Principal, Dr. Dan Crawford, sent a letter to parents and students about the results of an investigation into several instances of hazing and bullying of freshmen students reported during the 2016-2017 school year.
In his letter, Dr. Crawford stated that the investigation of videos posted on social media, cell phone pictures and interviews with parents and students, determined that reports of hazing and bullying were true during the 2016-17 school year.
He said that the Tyler ISD Code of Conduct was followed in administering discipline consequences.
Dr. Crawford also emphasized the school's proactive approach to educate students and parents on the dangers of hazing and bullying by providing a bulleted list with certain Tyler ISD School Board Policies including:
- Administrators, Coaches, Teachers, Faculty and Staff do not endorse any type of Hazing or Bullying (Hazing and Bullying are all prohibited by TISD School Board Policy (FFI & FNCC, Legal & Local Policy))
- These behaviors/actions are prohibited both on AND off campus
- Texas Education Code (statute 37.154) states, "It is NOT a defense to prosecution of an offense that the person against whom the hazing was directed consented to or acquiesced in the hazing activity"
- Participating in the act of Hazing or Bullying can lead to both school and legal consequences
- Any and all incidents reported by students, parents, or picture/video evidence will be investigated
- Acts of Hazing often put students safety at risk and at times have included alcohol and drugs
- We will alert local authorities when we receive notification of this behavior at a certain location
Principal Crawford ended his letter by advising parents of freshmen students not to release their child to seniors and/or upperclassmen.
Classes and activities will resume as normal on Tuesday following the three-day weekend, and the school will continue to use the district's code of conduct as a guide for student expectations.