PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - A high school let its dance team haze a freshman by forcing her to wrestle in a tarp filled with maple syrup and oatmeal, and condoned that and the avalanche of bullying she faced when she reported it, the girl claims in court.
The Doe family sued the Lake Oswego School District, in an affluent suburb south of Portland, five school administrators and a volunteer, on March 6 in Federal Court.
Child Doe says the hazing happened at Lakeridge High School in Lake Oswego.
Her parents say they moved their family to Lake Oswego from another state so that their daughter and son could attend Lakeridge, which touted the excellence of its education.
After winning a spot on the dance team in June 2014, Doe says, she attended three required events: a "team bonding trip" to the Oregon coast, an overnight "initiation" in Lake Oswego, and a "mandatory boot camp" in Sunriver, Ore.
During the beach trip on June 28, Doe says, she was forced to participate in a "sharing experience" at which other team members described "highly offensive sexual activities, using sexually explicit language (too crude to include here)," according to the complaint.
Defendants Kayla Nordlum, the dance team's 24-year-old coach, and assistant coach Ashley Nordlum "encouraged and approved the humiliating conversations," Doe says, despite earlier assurances to Doe's parents that such things would not happen during the trip.
Afterward, Nordlum abandoned Doe in Seaside, "without a ride home," according to the complaint.
During the Aug. 9 "team initiation," senior members of the team organized "activities intended to humiliate, endanger, harass, assault and batter the rest of the team members," the lawsuit states.
Doe says team members took her cell phone, dressed her in a "humiliating costume," blindfolded her and drove into downtown Lake Oswego.
Doe says seniors forced underclassmen to pull pieces of paper out of a hat, each slip dictating embarrassing behavior they had to do, such as dance on tables, kiss strange men and yell obscenities in a restaurant.
One restaurant called the police and filed a complaint.
That night, Doe says, senior team members drove her to a field at Lakeridge High School, where the team met with 25 to 30 intoxicated high school students who were there to harass and humiliate her and the other underclassmen on the team.
After being pelted with water balloons, Doe says, she and her young teammates had to strip down to the bikinis they had been ordered to wear under their clothes, then were forced to wrestle on a tarp covered in maple syrup and oatmeal, while the drunk students tossed feathers on them.
Doe says that she and her young teammates "were forced to dance with and for male students."
Then hazing continued at the Willamette River, where they were forced into the water and then told that if they wanted a ride home they had to chase the seniors' cars, barefoot, according to the complaint.
Doe claims that both dance coaches, as well as school principal Jennifer Schiele and the dance team's public relations volunteer Suzanne Young knew about the hazing did nothing to stop it.