Father In Cheerleading Hazing Video Controversy Shares His Side Of Story

Sep 11, 2019, 11:14 PM | Updated: Sep 12, 2019, 7:56 pm

ST. GEORGE, Utah – The father in the middle of a controversy involving video of a high school cheerleading hazing incident said Washington County School District officials have it all wrong.

Through his attorney Travis Christiansen, the father, who wanted to remain anonymous, said he didn’t release the hazing video to get his daughter back on the team.

Instead, he said he released the video because he felt the school district didn’t do a good enough job investigating the original hazing incident.

“When he first learned of this in late August, he was just shocked and dismayed that the school hadn’t done more,” Christiansen said. “He saw this is an act of bullying.”

Christiansen said the father only shared the video from his daughter’s cell phone with the school district, Desert Hills school resource officer, and the assistant superintendent for secondary education so a better investigation could be done.

Officials with the Washington County School District investigated the hazing after it happened in June, took action, and suspended some girls who were on the Desert Hills High School cheerleading team.

They thought the incident had been handled.

However, after the father’s daughter was kicked off the team for a separate incident, school district officials said the father threatened to release the full video of the hazing incident unless she was put back on the cheerleading team.

District officials claimed they weren’t aware of a full video.

Once district administrators received the video last Thursday, they gave it to the St. George Police Department.

Police detectives are investigating the hazing incident as well as the controversy surrounding the video, to see if any laws were broken.

Officials with the school district said the video contains semi-nude underage females.

Christiansen said all his client was trying to do was make things right.

“He wanted to make sure that these acts of hazing and bullying, that the kids know and the community knows, for the good of our community in Southern Utah and Washington County, and the kids in our schools know that bullying and hazing cannot happen,” Christiansen said.

As for why the father kept the video and why the timing of it coincides with his daughter being kicked off the team, Christiansen said the father only wanted the truth to come out.

Steven Dunham, communications director for the Washington County School District, said the district stands by its original statement and they look forward to the police investigation to see if any crimes have been committed.

Statement by the Washington County School District Board of Education:

“We are saddened by the recent incident of hazing. Please let there be no question that we will uphold and reinforce a zero tolerance of hazing in any of our schools.

“We are concerned about the culture at our schools. It is apparent that there has been a desensitizing of parents and students over the years that has led to an acceptance of these types of behaviors. Let us be very clear…initiation proceedings of this nature are not acceptable and need to stop immediately. We are inviting our parents to take a stand with us and say, “No More!”

“We are unanimous in the hope that when students and parents know of these activities, they come forward and we will support them. We have an obligation to educate students, faculty and parents in order to create a culture of zero tolerance of hazing in any form.”


KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(Chopper 5/KSL TV)...
Josh Ellis

Crews recover body of missing snowmobiler who was buried in Utah County avalanche

Search crews say they located and recovered the body of a man who was buried in an avalanche while snowmobiling in western Utah County.
10 hours ago
Gwyneth Paltrow enters the courtroom for her trial, Monday, March 27, 2023, in Park City, Utah. The...
Sam Metz

Gwyneth Paltrow’s experts to testify in Utah ski crash case

Gwyneth Paltrow’s attorneys are expected to call a series of experts and read depositions from her two teenage children as the trial over her 2016 Utah ski collision with a Utah man enters its sixth day.
10 hours ago
Josh Ellis

Crash snarls morning commute for Davis County drivers

A rollover crash is blocking multiple southbound Interstate 15 lanes near Glover Lane, leading to massive delays for commuters.
10 hours ago
The Atwater snowpack site in Alta, operated by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, is pictu...
Carter Williams

Utah’s record snowpack: Which basins have collected the most water so far this year?

Utah's snowpack continues to climb after soaring past the 26-inch mark on Friday, besting 1983 as the best season in the modern age of snowpack collection records.
10 hours ago
The Moffitt family (Jackson Grimm/KSL TV)...
Shara Park

Shot in the line of duty: Sandy officer, family, share how fateful day brought them closer together

A federal judge Monday sentenced a Utah man involved in gunfire that injured a Sandy officer. That officer, Sgt. Greg Moffitt, his wife and three daughters spoke exclusively with KSL about how that day impacted their family.
1 day ago
Flags fly at half-staff at the Utah Capitol. (Photo from @GovCox/Twitter)...
Madison Swenson

Gov. Cox orders flags be lowered in honor of Nashville shooting victims

Gov. Spencer Cox has ordered all flags in Utah be lowered to half-staff in honor of the three children and three adults killed in a school shooting in Nashville.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Stack of old laptops with dark background...
PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Close up of an offset printing machine during production...
Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.
vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
Father In Cheerleading Hazing Video Controversy Shares His Side Of Story