Hazing Kids Have Day In Court

A bucket flys through the air during a videotaped touch football game between Glenbrook North High School girls that turned into a brawl Sunday, May 4, 2003, in Northbrook, Ill. Authorities are investigating whether parents provided the alcohol that fueled the hazing at an annual, unofficial "powder puff" game between junior and senior girls.
An Illinois judge on Wednesday ordered the teenagers charged in a videotaped hazing incident to avoid any contact with the victims.

In addition to the 15 teenagers charged with misdemeanor battery, another teenager and two parents accused of providing the alcohol that fueled the incident appeared in Judge Timothy Chambers' courtroom.

Several of the teens asked to leave the state for family gatherings or college visits. Chambers gave them permission to go, as long as they're back in Illinois for the status hearing.

Prosecutors amended the battery charge to include battery in an insulting or provoking manner, which allows prosecution even if the battery didn't result in bodily harm.

The May 25 incident in the Chicago suburb of Northbrook gained worldwide attention from the broadcast of videotapes showing senior girls slugging junior girls and showering them with mud, garbage, paint and feces.

The defendants filed one by one before the judge for about an hour to hear the amended charges, saying little other than to acknowledge they were not to contact victims or to use alcohol or drugs.

An attorney for three of the hazing victims — who are threatening legal action to overturn their school suspensions for participating — said the order to avoid contact was helpful. Rollin Soskin said some of the hazing participants had approached his clients to tell them they shared responsibility.

Soskin said his clients are prepared to testify in the criminal trials, though he questions whether it will come to that.

"I don't think many of them are going to go to trial," he said. "I think they'll work something out, as is typical of a first-time offender."

Chambers set a July 15 status hearing in the cases.