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REDLANDS (CBSLA.com) — A video that surfaced on social media has sparked debate over whether its content appears to show an example of high school sports hazing or teenagers simply trying to have fun.

The video, which has stirred strong emotions since it was posted, shows players on the Citrus Valley High School softball team eating dirt. A voice in the video is heard saying, “You’ve got to lick the dirt, because this is our field.”

While some say the video is nothing more than harmless bonding between teammates, others claim it as a crude hazing ritual.

The district confirmed Wednesday that an adult who appears at the beginning of the video is a district employee. They did not confirmed whether or not the woman is the team’s coach, however.

Despite laughter being heard on the video, a Redlands district assistant superintendent says that the incident never should have happened and that an investigation is underway.

Parents, meanwhile, had mixed reactions to the video.

“There are ways to bond besides licking the ground and the dirt, and (having) them eat dirt,” Linda Moore said. “(There are) a lot of nicer ways to bond than that.”

Other parents see the event on the video as harmless and say it has been blown out of proportion.

“I don’t think the incident amounts to hazing,” parent Tim Monteil-Doucette said. “I think it’s just a team-building exercise. Teams do little things like that.”

The district has not taken action as of Wednesday.


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