NEWS

Egg-toss hazing prompts Ottawa student protest

09/14/2011 01:18 EDT | Updated 11/14/2011 05:12 EST

About two-dozen Grade 11 and 12 students gathered outside Nepean High School Wednesday in west Ottawa to argue against the suspension and transfer of a student over an egg-tossing incident.

Mykal Baytaluk, a Grade 12 student, was moved from the school for driving by a student and throwing eggs while off school property.

"My parents are pretty upset with the school board, I guess, but they're not happy with me for getting expelled," said Baytaluk, who arrived at the school later in the day.

"Would I do it all again? Yeah," he added with a nod and chuckle.

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board said it responded to the incident as it would any hazing or orientation incident.

Baytaluk will spend 20 days at a local alternative school, before transferring to another high school. He will then apply to be reinstated at Nepean next semester.

"The student was suspended, not expelled. We are putting together a plan so he can continue with his schooling," said Walter Piovesan, the school board's associate director.

Protesters use Twitter for protest

The student protest was organized through Twitter with the hash tag #protestformykal. Students skipped class to make their point, calling the decision "unjust" and saying Baytaluk was unfairly singled out.

"We think he was expelled unfairly because he froshed and threw eggs, that's it. He didn't get a warning or anything," said one Grade 12 student who would only say her name was Robin.

The group claimed the initiation of throwing eggs at Grade 9 students is a tradition at the school and it "happens every year."

The students said a parent saw the hazing and reported it to the school, which then notified the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board.

"They've cracked down on it, which is understandable," Robin added, "What he did was wrong, but to expel him is a little extreme."

The students want the school and board to reinstate Baytaluk so he can graduate at Nepean. Two other students were suspended for 10 days due to the incident because they were in Baytaluk's car.

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