The Albany High School principal has talked to Safeway and CVS about limiting the sale of eggs to teens after a hazing incident Friday sent a middle school student to the hospital with a fractured skull.
In a memo sent to parents Tuesday, Principal Ted Barone said the stores agreed "to cooperate" and not sell eggs to teens "for the time being."
But a manager at CVS said sales only would be limited to three egg cartons; a district Safeway official said the store could not refuse to sell any products to customers unless it is already regulated by law.
Barone said a CVS manager told him Sept. 7 that the store would limit sales to teens to a single egg carton.
Barone said a Safeway assistant manager told him it was reasonable to limit egg sales and that the store would do what it could.
But store officials told a different story Tuesday afternoon.
Safeway spokeswoman Susan Houghton said the store could not discriminate about egg sales.
"As much as we sympathize with the situation, we can't decide who to sell eggs to without following a law," she said. "We can't just randomly make a decision we're not going to sell eggs to you because you might be a teenager going to that high school."
A CVS manager said the store has an existing limit of three cartons of eggs during promotions, and that the store planned to enforce this limit with teens.
After learning about these responses, Barone said parents who are troubled by the situation could call Safeway and CVS if they thought more needed to be done.
Authorities and witnesses said high school seniors who ran out of eggs during a "Freshman Friday" egging tradition starting throwing punches instead.
Albany High School Principal Ted Barone sent an e-mail to parents today saying he is "extremely concerned" about student behavior: "We view the incidents as bullying, hazing, and in some cases assault."
Barone said the district is moving for expulsion of the student "most responsible" for Friday night's assault, and that others responsible for the violence have been suspended.
See the entire memo here:
In recent weeks, there have been a series of incidents of "egging" to a degree that has not been experienced in Albany in a long time. Some have referred to these egging incidents as "Freshman Friday", a hazing process that has occurred to some degree for years in the weeks prior to Homecoming. We are extremely concerned by the situation as it affects the feelings of safety and security among our students. We view the incidents as bullying, hazing, and in some cases assault.
Last Thursday, I addressed all of the students over the loudspeaker system, informing them that this "tradition" was unacceptable and not reflective of the welcoming and safe atmosphere we work so hard to create at Albany High School. I told them that any students participating in such incidents would face suspension. I also met with most of the Freshman students on the first Friday of the new school year, telling them that any such egging incidents were a threat to their safety and that they needed to let us know of any problems.
Despite our efforts, on Friday night, September 3, one such egging incident resulted in an Albany student receiving facial injuries and a fractured skull (the injuries were caused by a punch to the face). The individual who is most responsible for the injury has already been arrested by the police and is now being addressed through the legal system. We are moving for expulsion of this student from the Albany Unified School District. The group of his friends who were involved with the egging have been suspended from school for their role in this bullying and hazing incident. We had previously suspended several students for other such bullying/hazing incidents.
The names of these individuals have been reported to the Albany Police for follow-up. In addition, we have contacted the local Safeway and CVS Pharmacy to ask them to stop selling eggs to teenagers, at least for the time being. They have agreed to cooperate.
We cannot tolerate this kind of behavior by any Albany Unified student. We must work together to help our young adults understand the impact of such hazing and bullying on the freedom to learn that we so cherish. I asked every one of the young men involved if they would have engaged in such activities if they were alone, as opposed to being a part of a group. Every one said they would not.
Please discuss these incidents with your children and help them understand the importance of respecting the right of each young person to a safe and secure educational environment. If your student feels threatened or harassed, they need to contact their counselor, an administrator or another trusted adult on campus. Please communicate to them that if they choose to participate in any such bullying or hazing activities, then they can expect to be suspended and/or expelled and their names will be provided to the Albany Police Department.
Thank you for your help on this vital safety matter.
Ted Barone, Principal