LETHBRIDGE: Two teens set for trial Monday, in connection with a high school hazing ritual opted to enter guilty pleas to assault with a weapon instead.
The pair admitted to going to a party July 6th, 2010 and asking younger students if they wanted to be paddled as part of an "initiation". Several students agreed and were paddled on the buttocks or the backs of the legs, although it was stated by the Crown that they said they only went along with it because they felt they didn't have a choice. The two used a cut off goalie stick and canoe paddle.
The girl was found guilty of striking two younger students with paddles and was there while a third was hit. She received one year of probation and 40-hours of community service.
The boy admitted that on that night he hit one person with a paddle and also entered guilty pleas in connection with a similar metter July 19th, 2010. That day the accused and three others went looking for younger students with their paddles. When they found them, they stated that they would be paddled, and proceeded to take turns hitting the younger students again in the buttocks and backs of the legs with a skateboard.
The male accused, who is currently serving probation for similar incidents, received four months of supervised-custody.
Before delivering his sentence, Judge Tod Larochelle told the courtroom "I think initiation is a poor choice of words for what this is, it's bullying and intimidation."
Following the proceedings, Crown Prosecutor Erin Olsen explained that while several of the victims had agreed to be paddled, a person can not consent to being struck by a weapon. She added that deterance is supposed to be a minimal part of the youth justice system, however she acknowledged that it would be a big positive if Monday's ruling made youth in the future think twice before doing something similar.