Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday said that the simulation of lap dances by male students and other homecoming activities at a Kentucky school that received national attention “was totally unacceptable, inappropriate, shouldn’t happen.”
“What happened in Hazard, shouldn’t. We should have better judgment than that. That shouldn’t go on in our schools,” said Beshear. He said that those investigating, including the Superintendent, should ensure that it never happens again and should make public disciplinary action taken.
“Our public schools are better than this,” he said.
Photos from the homecoming activities were posted on school Facebook pages and received national attention.
Hazard Independent Superintendent Sondra Combs on Wednesday confirmed that disciplinary action was taken in connection with social media photos of homecoming activities at Hazard High School that showed a scantily clad male teenager giving lap dances to staff, including the principal, who is also Hazard’s mayor.
But Combs would not say who was disciplined or whether Donald “Happy” Mobelini, the principal, had any action taken against him.
“My hope is that they’ll be public about any actions taken so that those that are watching the situation know what happens when you make mistakes like that and how you correct it,” Beshear said. “What that action is ought to be public because the issue is so public.”
Beshear, who criticized the homecoming activities at least twice Thursday at two news conferences, said he knew a couple of people involved in the incident. “I think that they will learn from it,” he said.
“We want to make sure that this isn’t an example that some take and repeat,” Beshear said.
Beshear said kids shouldn’t be punished because adults allowed the activities. That included the simulated lap dances, girls depicting Hooters waitresses serving beer, and boys being paddled.
“We just want to make sure we are raising our kids right about what is and is not acceptable, especially in the world that we live in,” Beshear said. He said he hopes that the school district does right by kids by making the controversy a learning moment for them about choices they make and peer pressure.
Combs did not immediately respond to Beshear’s comments about making the disciplinary action public.
WKYT reported Thursday night that Mobelini’s supporters were gathering in Hazard at a rally to support him and Mobelini had arrived at 5 p.m.
Mobelini did not immediately comment to the Herald-Leader.