N.Y. high school suspends football season over hazing allegations
WNYW in New York reports that one volunteer coach has been suspended and three players have been kicked off the Susan Wagner High School (New York City) football team. The incidents allegedly took place at a football camp last month.The school’s principal, Gary M. Giordano, sent a letter to parents indicating that both varsity and junior varsity players were involved. He suggested that parents who believe their child was victimized should contact the local sheriff’s office.
From The Associated Press:
A parent, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Staten Island Advance his son came home from the camp with permanent marker drawings on his legs. When he was questioned about it, the father said his son described hazing and abuse that is part of a ritual passed down from older players to younger players.
“They had a BB gun up there that they were attacking the kids and shooting at kids with. A lot of kids woke up with penises drawn on their faces, neck, head, arms, legs,” the parent told the paper. “That’s outrageous, and with [permanent] magic markers. These kids were scrubbing the life out of their skin.”
The parent also said the older players would attack younger ones in the shower and hit them with socks filled with powder. The parent claims some varsity players required sophomores to haze freshman players.
One father of a junior varsity player spoke to WABC Tuesday night and produced text messages among the players that read, “”Everyone delete the chats,” “Don’t let this get out” and “Cuz no one snitched last year and worst (sic) … happened to us.”
The president and vice president of the team’s “football parents club” spoke to media and denied that any hazing or bullying took place, while at the same time admitting that they “don’t have all the answers.”
The season has not been canceled, but the school has suspended all activity while its investigation continues.