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Parents outraged over 'man pageant' held at Kentucky high school

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Posted at 4:40 PM, Oct 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-27 16:40:31-04

HAZARD, Kent. — An investigation is underway after controversial photos from an event at a high school in Kentucky are causing outrage.

As part of homecoming week activities, Tuesday was costume day at Hazard High School and a "man pageant" was held.

Multiple photos were posted and then taken down from the Hazard High School athletics Facebook page.

They appear to show scantily clad students giving lap dances to faculty and staff.

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Others showed female students dressed in "Hooter's" costumes, and students and staff appeared to spank or paddle each other.

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Many parents took to social media to address their frustrations.

"As a mother myself, I wouldn't want my son involved in such actions," one woman told Scripps Lexington station WLEX.

Another woman said it's not a representation of pageants and found it "demeaning in many ways."

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One person featured in the photo was Hazard High School Principal Donald "Happy" Mobelini.

He is also the mayor of Hazard.

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) says they are aware of the incident and have contacted the superintendent.

"Under state law, superintendents have a duty to report any instances of educator misconduct to the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB)," says KDE in a statement. "If an investigation finds a certified educator likely violated the Kentucky Educator Code of Ethics, they are required to report this to EPSB. Here is a link to the Code of Ethics, as defined by: 16 KAR 1:020: https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/law/kar/016/001/020.pdf."

The department said that if any citizen of Commonwealth feels that a certified educator violated that Kentucky’s educator Code of Ethics, they can also file a written complaint with the EPSB by email to epsbeducatorethics@education.ky.gov.

At this point, the Superintendent of Hazard Independent Schools says the incident is under investigation, and appropriate action will be taken once that is complete.

Sofia Miller at WLEX first reported this story.