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June  22

High Anxiety

Ambulance It's Move-Up Day in Glen Ridge, the traditional day when kids get to meet their teachers for next year and when rising seniors at Glen Ridge High School get to torture incoming freshmen. Word is that Glen Ridge police have a tight lid on this year's hazing rite (which usually involves smearing disgusting food on the initiates and other ritual humiliations.) They've scoped out possible host homes and warned the parents, and are stopping rising seniors' cars to make sure they haven't nabbed unsuspecting initiates. When several ambulances showed up in the front of the high school just as school let out, anxieties increased. Turns out a kid flipped his bicycle.

June 22, 2005 in Sirens | Permalink


The link didn't work for me...

By the way, I have three disappointed freshmen (girls) here who would like to say that "it's not torture, you choose to go or not, most kids want to go, and we were disappointed that it was cancelled."

Posted by: Jessica | Jun 22, 2005 2:23:37 PM

I agree. I remember initiation being fun and exciting, despite the condiments dumped on our heads.

As a side note (and speaking from GRVAS experience), if the medics were there it must have been a pretty bad accident, or else the kid was just winded from the fall. Let's hope it was the latter.

Happy summer, students!

Posted by: Erin | Jun 22, 2005 2:35:55 PM

Last I checked, hazing in any form is against the law. So even if my child had a desire to be humiliated in the hope that it would somehow increase her popularity (with girls who would humiliate her by smearing spoiled food on her?), I would tell her to get over her disappointment.
As an aside, I had 3 freshmen girls here today who were delighted that their mothers took them out of town, out to lunch and shopping for camp this afternoon (as an alternative).

Posted by: Karen | Jun 22, 2005 4:16:21 PM


"Dazed and Confused" - best freshmen hazing movie, ever.

Posted by: Left Of Center, like Suzanne Vega | Jun 22, 2005 4:20:30 PM

Hazing in GR!? That town is more retro than I ever imagined!

Posted by: Person of Interest | Jun 22, 2005 5:23:10 PM

They're handing out condiments at school? Ban that disgusting practice! It's against everything that's right and holy.

Posted by: Chris | Jun 22, 2005 5:34:59 PM

One question: What would give the police the right to pull someone over just because thay are a rising senior? Sounds like age profiling. Or are they calling this 'suspected kidnapping'? Crazy coppers got nothing better to do with their time?

Posted by: Erin | Jun 22, 2005 9:11:17 PM

Let's be realistic.

I have a new senior and a new freshman. Neither were in the least bit interested in attending any sort of "initiation party" today.

The freshman told me a few days ago that "there are no boys I know in my class that intend to attend any sort of initiation. There are some girls. I have told them that they should get some self respect."

That same upcoming freshman made sure this morning that we had plans just in case of a "kidnapping".

The senior attempted to drive around town in a decorated car with friends in celebration. They gave up and went out to lunch. There were certainly police officers on their tail.

It is my opinion that the senior should be able to drive around town without the police targetting the car.

And, the freshman should be able to walk out of school without worrying about other seniors.

However, I cannot ask for one without the other. That, to me, is the sad part.

For any freshman parents reading this.....I have heard that the state of NJ has increased the driving age for the Class of 2009. If this is true, then my freshman will not get a NJ Drivers License until after graduation from High School.

Posted by: anothergrmom | Jun 22, 2005 9:56:16 PM

My freshman is smart, sensible, and has great self esteem. She tends to be very serious and doesn't take risks, go out on a limb, etc. The whole initiation idea felt to her to be a way to let loose, be wild and crazy, in a safe (albeit disgusting) way. I think there are ways to talk about this without "type casting" the kids who would have chosen to take part as needy, lacking self respect, etc. (I would likewise hope that no-one would label the kids who had chosen not to take part with pejorative adjectives.)

Posted by: Jessica | Jun 22, 2005 10:12:28 PM

You described your freshman's comments, and I described mine. I don't see any typecasting there.

Posted by: anothergrmom | Jun 22, 2005 10:20:37 PM

I was addressing another comment above.

Posted by: Jessica | Jun 23, 2005 7:32:23 AM

Jessica - I assume then that you are referring to my comment above. I am not type-casting or judging anyone's child, not even my own. I perceive the situation where one group of girls places another group along a blacktop driveway in order to smear them with sour milk, condiments and other assorted "goodies" as humiliating to both the initiators and the initiatees. I do not think it is an appropriate way to let loose, be wild and crazy, etc. Whatever motivates a teenaged girl from either group to participate in this ritual is none of my business.
As an aside, some of the freshman girls have decided that my daughter told me where initiation was going to take place and that I called the police and had the "fun" shut down. Personally, I don't care that that rumor is out there (and it's false by the way; neither my daughter nor I knew where it was to be because she had no interest in participating), but several girls are now harrassing my daughter online for ruining their fun. So I guess we can now have "virtual" hazing for those who feel they may have missed out on something yesterday.

Posted by: Karen | Jun 23, 2005 9:34:21 AM

The comments I got from my kids were that there were not enough interested seniors to actually come up with an organized plan. There was no place to hold it. It didn't get cancelled because it was not happening in the first place.

Posted by: gumdrops | Jun 23, 2005 10:19:34 AM

Karen, that is inexcusable. Let me know if my daughter has or had anything to do with that. I don't think so, and yesterday I didn't hear anything even resembling that rumor from her or the two friends who were over. And none of them were online while they were here. I was just pointing out that there are reasons people participate in this stuff besides wanting to be popular or being a follower, which is what I thought you were implying. I guess it's not just our girls who are hyper-sensitive these days, it's us moms too. I'm sorry to have misunderstood you.

Posted by: Jessica | Jun 23, 2005 11:58:21 AM

Oh -- and apparently some sort of condiment smearing ritual did, in fact, take place in West Caldwell, at one of the senior's parent's house (the other parent lives in Glen Ridge). So the "fun" was not "shut down" for the lucky few who were "in the know" about going to West Caldwell.

Posted by: Jessica | Jun 23, 2005 12:04:17 PM

I'm a senior at Glen Ridge High School, and after reading all the comments I have something to say, too. I was initiated as a freshman, and it's not at all about getting revenge or "well, they did it to us". Initiation, although it's illegal, is a fun and exciting TRADITION that makes entering High School that much more memorable. Yes, I understand why cops would want to try to prohibit any hazing from taking place, but what parents don't understand is that we don't drive around pulling kids into our cars threatening to beat them up if they don't come... we had talked to all the freshmen we planned to initiate before moveup day took place, and every single one of them was eager, enthusiastic, and, agreeing with what Jessica said, very disappointed to find out it wasn't going to take place anymore. I think the parents that are trying to protect their children should realize that their kids are growing up and in the end, it's their own choice whether or not they would want to attend initiation... and trust me, we wouldn't do anything to anyone who didn't want to be initiated, we're not that mean. I certainly wanted to attend initiation when I was their age, and I would've completely regretted it if I hadn't. It was one of my favorite memories from High School thus far, and I hope that the faculty, cops, and parents lighten up in the future so that upcoming seniors AND freshmen have the chance to experience what a ton of other people have before.

Posted by: senior | Jun 23, 2005 7:18:39 PM

And one more thing... it's completely illegal, as far as I know, to post a picture of a senior's car with their license plate showing. That's one of my friend's cars and I know for a fact she had NO knowledge of that picture being put up. That's showing private information without her consent, and with all due respect, I suggest you check legalities before bashing the kids in Glen Ridge.

Posted by: senior | Jun 23, 2005 7:27:17 PM

I have many things to say to not only the Barista but to parents of incoming freshmen.
First of all, no hazing took place in West Caldwell. Second, there were plenty of seniors interested in initiating so it was not our lack of participation or lax effort. I think it's beyond ridiculous how parents and police conduct themselves in this town. Actually, it's a huge joke. Police break up parties, where high schoolers are drinking alcohol, and doing drugs, both by the way in case you don't realize, are illegal, and what happens? Not a damn thing. Not a single goddamn thing but GODFORBID both seniors and freshmen want to continue a highschool ritual of initiating, when their consent is taken, all hell breaks loose like we're about to committ a mass murder. Both parents and police need to realize that not a year has gone by where kids have been taken against their will. Every single spring incoming freshmen can't wait to get initiated as it's their right of passage. So before getting angry at the seniors for wanting to continue a longstanding tradition, parents should reprimand their freshmen, who seek out seniors online and in school begging to know when and where initiation will be held. I saw a mother run up the driveway yesterday screaming for her freshmen to get into the car so they could drive away in time so the seniors wouldn't take her away. It's just like a Glen Ridge parent to be overdramatic and unnecessary. And get this, five freshmen asked to have condiments thrown on them afterschool on Wednesday. They begged and pleaded in fact so don't pretend like this is the fault of seniors. And to the Barista...you did this last summer with the Glen Ridge Community Pool and I thought you would've learned by now but it's ILLEGAL to take a picture of someone, or their car with their license plate showing, without their consent. You speak of hazing being illegal? How about you follow the law, and then maybe we will.

Barista, it plagues me to fuel your fire of gossip and absolute nonsense but something had to be said. You need to really get another job. I'd love to see the Glen Ridge Police arrest peer leaders, National Honor Society members, three sport captains, National Merit Scholars, and Presidents of various clubs over an initiation. The day they do that I will eat my words with a fork and spoon but until then, you and every other parent in this town really needs to keep quiet and mind their own business. You can parent your kids only so please stick to that.

Posted by: another SENIOR | Jun 23, 2005 7:35:58 PM

I'm an upcoming senior at Glen Ridge, and I would just like to point out that baristanet has made a BUNCH of false claims about the kids in our town, which I think is completely inexcusable for a website that many think is dependable. Please make sure your facts are correct before you post things like this on the website. First off, let me make it clear that NO initation was held this year. And unlike what basistanet stated, that the seniors "torture incoming freshmen", initiation every year so far has just been a fun way for the two classes to bond. I have never once heard anyone say that they held bad feelings about their own personal initiation experience, because no one gets hurt at the initiation, it's really just a silly, fun thing. Most freshmen WANT to go, we aren't "nabbing unsuspecting initiates," and the freshmen enjoy themselves and laugh about it after it happens. We aren't "torturing" anyone, everyone has a good time and the seniors make sure to take care of the kids. In fact, I had an amazing time at my initiation, I got to bond with the people there, meet some of my new peers, and ultimately just have a fun expirience to share with the seniors.

I would also like to point out that the picture with the senior car that you posted along with this article is very disrespectful. I know the person who drives that car, and lots of other people in GR know the senior as well. I think it is completely unfair that you would associate this article with this picture, you have absolutely no idea if this individual was involved in any way with the initiation process and I know for a fact that you did not get the driver's consent to put this picture up on your website. People who recognize the car and driver might look at him or her in a negative light, AND the picture left the lisence plate number completely clear to read. I would think that a website such as this would think twice before putting a minor's personal information on the internet.

To anyone who reads this, please do not let this article make you start looking down on the class of 2006. My grade holds a bunch of amazing individuals who deserve much more respect than baristanet has so far given us.

Posted by: Senior 06 | Jun 23, 2005 7:38:46 PM

Glen Ridge's parents are really cool. If you have a kid, thats all good and great and I'm glad that you have good parenting skills ( although I must say I do not agree with some of these parents opinions )but when it comes to other people's kids, who cares? It has nothing to do with you so just let them live their own lives and be parented by their own parents, not you. Police = i hate you get a life. You all bejazzle my mind. Thanks for your time and support.

much love to the class of 2006.

Posted by: annoyed | Jun 23, 2005 8:11:34 PM

Great posts! My favorite lines are:

> It's just like a Glen Ridge parent to be overdramatic and unnecessary.

> You all bejazzle my mind.

Posted by: Chris | Jun 23, 2005 8:50:49 PM

I just wanna say I'm disappointed in whoever's car that was... I'm disappointed that they didn't stick their hand out the window and give you a big fat middle finger.

Haha...Before everyone gets all teary eyed let's just sit back and relax. Let's all get our panties out of a bunch and just chill. Who cares what some dumb annonymous person thinks of you. For all you know it might be your best friend you're arguing with. It might even be your mom. Just lighten up everyone, even the seniors. Just live up our senior year and let everyone else do the worrying.

Class of 2006 baby!

Posted by: VeryConcernedSenior | Jun 23, 2005 9:51:44 PM

Who does your proofing and copy editing, VeryConcernedSenior? Principal Orsini?

Posted by: cathar | Jun 23, 2005 10:43:08 PM

Im an upcoming senior in glen ridge and initiation isnt this huge deal its NOT some torture that we afflict onto freshmen its more of a bonding experience and i dont understand what these stupid parents are complaining about. The majority of the freshman want to go to initiation and they arent forced or 'kidnapped' in previous years freshman are asked if they want to go and if they dont then they arent forced to. It is completely up to the freshman.

These parents on here need to get over themselves. Waaa my child got an egg thrown at her/him. There are more important things to worry about like starvation in poverty stricken countries. my advice- PARENTS save your damn breath for an actual problem: for example its more dangerous for your kids to have unprotected sex then it is to get initiated but i dont see parents doing much to stop that. Their children are going to be put into worse situations and parents arent gunna be able to complain to get their kids out of them.

Im talking from experience and i have gotten initiated and it was a lot of fun. I got to know a lot of the seniors that way and many of them i still talk to and I am still very close with now. I just don't understand what the big deal is.

ohh and by the way the kid didn't pass out because of initiation he's going into 8th grade he fell off of his bike. It was a complete accident.THIS WEBSITE SHOULD GET A FEW OF THEIR FACTS STRAIGHT!

Posted by: seniorohsix | Jun 24, 2005 12:05:01 AM

barista blows!!!!!!!!

Posted by: jim mcgreevey | Jun 24, 2005 12:06:16 AM

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