Authorities in Snohomish County, Wash., are investigating the incident, which occurred Monday night in a park near Inglemoor High School, where students with the unofficial football fan group the “Naked Viks” were beaten with golf clubs and PVC pipes.
Detectives told news station KIRO-TV that the victims were coated with flour and maple syrup and urinated on during the hazing.
Graphic photographs show students covered in bruises, with angry red welts across their backs, mixed with dirt and other grime.
Student James Walvatne told the station that he, along with six other juniors, were chosen by graduating seniors to be initiated Monday night. To him and the others, it was a high honor.
“It’s just tradition,” he told KIRO. “I don’t think [the students] should be in trouble that could just ruin their lives,” Walvatne said.
Neighbors, hearing the screams of the seven teenagers, quickly called authorities.
Students who were allegedly hazed in Kenmore, Wash., were part of the Naked Viks, an exclusive fan club for sporting events at Inglemoor High School.
Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies arrived to the park to find a dozen teenagers between the ages of 16 and 18.
Police said that some teens had on only shorts and were bleeding from open wounds, KOMONews.com reported.
Some of the victims also showed signs of hypothermia and were rushed to the hospital.
The school has since launched an investigation and has banned the Naked Viks from any school-related function.
Chris Perkins told KIRO Radio that he was one of the founding members of the Naked Viks ack in 1996. “It was guys wearing half-cut white T-shirts running ‘Naked Viks’ on them, and acting crazy at football games,” he explained.
“You hang out before the games; it was just being goofy.”
Perkins said the tradition of the fan club was passed down from seniors to juniors in a handoff system, usually to students they knew through sports teams.
It is unclear what charges await the seniors of the Naked Viks, as authorities report none of the juniors who were being hazed asked the seniors to stop.
Read more: Daily Mail