Photos of scantily clad students giving lap dances to staff members at a US high school on Tuesday have triggered an investigation after going viral online.
The images were taken during Hazard High School’s homecoming week of festivities in Kentucky, the Courier Journal reports.
On Tuesday, the school celebrated 'Costume Day' and held a 'Man Pageant', where male students compete to be crowned the winner.
Images of the event, which were posted to the school’s athletics page before later being taken down, show the male contestants dressed up in lingerie while giving lap dances and apparently grinding on male staff.
One of the staff members seen in pictures is Hazard High School Principal Donald 'Happy' Mobelini, who is also the local mayor, the publication reports.
More photos posted and removed from the high school’s social media accounts include female students dressed as Hooters waitresses and male students and staff allegedly paddling each other as dozens of others watch on.
The images have been heavily criticised online, with thousands of people taking to Twitter and Reddit to question the school’s events.
Nema Brewer, cofounder of education advocacy group KY 120 United, tweeted images of the lap dances to Twitter on Tuesday.
"Um. Exactly what is going on here, y’all? C’mon Hazard. Get it together," she wrote alongside a face palm emoji.
The account Libs of TikTok also reposted the images, which attracted a large amount of backlash from followers.
"As a teacher......I don't know where to begin with what's even happened," one man wrote.
"This is so beyond wrong that any administration must be fired and potential charges brought forth. Anyone involved with the approval process need to be held accountable for this."
"I think the weirdest part about this is that those boys had no shame giving male faculty lap dances in front of the entire student body," a woman Tweeted.
Some Twitter users defended the high school’s events, saying the photos have been blown out of proportion.
'Kids having fun', say some
"Look at the audience, they are all in HALLOWEEN COSTUMES. Please don’t blow this out of proportion, they are kids having fun," one person wrote.
Um. Exactly what is going on here, y’all? C’mon Hazard. Get it together. 🤦🏼♀️ pic.twitter.com/GZQCdYnpbF
— “That” Nema (@nema) October 27, 2021
"Missing the joke here maybe? The staff look like coaches and the guys are probably football players or something. Just because sickos try to get in everything these days doesn’t mean they actually do. Silly things can still be funny and innocent," another said.
Sondra Combs, superintendent of Hazard Independent Schools, told The Courier Journal the incident is under investigation.
She said the district "has a tradition of excellence and academics, and everything we do, but the incident is being investigated and once the investigation is complete, appropriate action will be taken."
While Ms Combs declined to tell the publication if the 'Man Pageant' was an annual event at Hazard High, similar events are held at numerous high schools across the country.
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