Senior Tunnel Tradition Will Continue at Swampscott High

The opening day tunnel raised concerns last year after accusations of inappropriate behavior by seniors. The superintendent said on Wednesday that a plan is being developed to make sure students are safe.


The principal has decided to continue the senior tunnel tradition, the superintendent told School Committee members on Wednesday.

The tunnel is two lines of seniors who "welcome" to school on the first day underclassmen who choose to walk between the lines.

In the past the welcome has included chanting, yelling, blowing noise makers and spraying silly string.

And some people said last year's ceremonial entrance included inappropriate touching and the presence of a paddle.  

The superintendent said at the time that an investigation only turned up evidence that someone had a paddle.

On Wednesday, Superintendent Lynne Celli said that the tradition will continue but a plan will be in place to make sure nothing inappropriate takes place. 

But committee member Jaren Landen wanted to know why it was going to continue.

The superintendent said that High School Principal Layne Millington had met with school administrators and others and they recommended that the the tunnel was a tradition worthy of continuing with the appropriate safeguards in place.

Patch will report the contents of the plan when they are made available.


William R. DiMento August 17, 2012 at 09:26 PM
The problem is the Superintendent either is misinformed regarding the paddle or she is not telling the truth. A tradition of humiliation of students by other students is not fun. There is ample evidence the paddle was used .
powderpuff79 August 19, 2012 at 02:16 AM
Don't you have a Schutzer to beat up on, somewhere?
William R. DiMento August 19, 2012 at 11:57 AM
I was hoping they would tell the truth. If they don't tell the truth about the paddle, are they going to use the same investigative methodology regarding the new school?
Whisky August 19, 2012 at 01:02 PM
I'm sure very close of 100% of kids who went through this turned out to be well adjusted, high functioning adults. And if they did not, it was NOT because of a 30 second benign rite of passage. Enough rules about every little thing already; lighten up!
Fred Hammer August 20, 2012 at 02:28 AM
So let the superintendent walk through the line, this is not tradition; this is bullying. What a joke our school department is willing to let the kids go through another door if you don't want to get hazed, great job superintendent. What about showing last years tape of the hazing and bullying if its not such a big deal put it on channel 16, you be the judge. Oh yeah, they will tell you they dont have it, school committe shame on you liars.
hammergjh August 20, 2012 at 01:44 PM
Seriously, lighten up people. This is, in Boone's famous words from "Animal House", "just some harmless fun".
Kevin Donaher August 20, 2012 at 02:24 PM
I'd rather the superintendant release the findings of the $50K forensic file investigation at the middle school than hear about her view on the high school senior tunnel tradition.
William R. DiMento August 20, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Kevin: That report is a public record. I suggest you file a public record request with the School Dept and if they claim it is privleged, appeal to the Office of the Secretary of State. They will get it for you with the names redacted. As for the tunnel, it is a form of hazing which kids really don't need. There is no educational purpose . I think is a very poor decision to allow seniors to scream insults at other kids. Yellow tape may prevent the touching but verbal insults hurt more than "sticks and stones"
Student January 04, 2013 at 04:24 AM
The welcome tunnel is harmless fun and a tradition that helps kick off a class' senior year traditions. As silly as it may seem, it's one of the first events that brings a senior class together in their final year and sets the tone of community for them. There are doors open for students who truly feel uncomfortable going through it, but it takes 30 seconds and you just walk fast and smile/laugh nervously. The few students who shouted rude things or used a paddle should be held responsible, but the whole class should not be penalized nor should this tradition be suspended because of a few kids who let the excitement get to them. None of that happened when my class did the tunnel nor were rude things shouted - everything was clean, welcoming and in good fun. I graduated a few years ago and vividly remember the feeling walking through the tunnel the first day of my freshman year - everyone was clapping and it made me excited to think that in four years my class would be that united and excited about the first day of school. It made me feel welcome and a bit more at ease facing the start of my high school career.


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