by: Alison Grande Updated:
KENMORE, Wash. - Snohomish County detectives are investigating if a group of seniors who graduated from Inglemoor High School in Kenmore will be charged in a brutal hazing incident.
The teenagers were a part of a school spirit group called the "Naked Viks.” They are a non-sanctioned group that cheers at the school's football games.
James Walvatne said he was blindfolded on Monday night and then brutally beaten.
"They used PVC pipes, headless golf clubs, and flour and maple syrup. They peed on us and stuff," said Walvatne, a junior at the school.
He said a group of seven juniors were chosen by senior to be a part of an initiation at a park in Snohomish County.
KIRO 7 is asking question Thursday about the police investigation and will have the latest for you on Eyewitness News from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Neighbors heard screams and then called police. “We woke up to what sounded like someone staple gunning someone and screaming,” said neighbor Jeannie Collier.
Walvatne said he didn't tell the other students to stop beating him because he wanted to be a part of the group.
"It's just tradition. I don’t think they should be in trouble that could just ruin their lives," said Walvatne.
But his mother says it's a tradition that has to stop.
"This needs to be stopped, this initiation. It's not right. You can’t do this. People cannot do this to other people," said Sara Walvatne, James's mother.
Because James didn't tell the other students to stop, it's not clear what charges could be filed against them.
A spokesperson for the Northshore School District said administrators were notified about the incident on Tuesday morning.
Since then district officials say they are cooperating with detectives in this investigation.
The district is also working to issue a no-trespass order to the students involved in the incident from Northshore property.
As for why this type of behavior wasn't stopped in the past, Leanna Albrecht, district communications director, said, "The school has heard rumors in the past, but when investigated, found no evidence. No reports of hazing involving violence have ever been reported.
Each year the school has proactively spoken with the group of students about appropriate behavior and as part of that informed them that hazing/initiation is against the law."
Because of the hazing incident, Inglemoor High School is banning the Naked Viks at school or any school-related event.
"Inglemoor High School and the Northshore School District have high standards for student behavior. We are deeply disturbed by the actions of these few individuals, which do not reflect the respect, pride and citizenship that the Inglemoor High School student community represents and values. Our thoughts are with the students who were injured and their families. School officials are fully cooperating with the police department in its investigation and are actively encouraging families to pursue charges," said Albrecht.
Friends of the victims are disappointed the school shut down the Naked Viks for next year. “They shouldn’t have had to go through that and then have them take it away. It got out of hand one year. It’s been a tradition forever,” Nick McPherson said.
McPherson told us if he had been selected for the Naked Viks he would have quit the football team, “Instead of football I would rather be a Naked Viking.”