Roosevelt looks to move past hazing allegations
David Young, (Bio) firstname.lastname@example.org
March 24, 2008
JOHNSTOWN — In the wake of six Roosevelt High School students suspended for a hazing incident that sparked an investigation by the District Attorney’s office in Delta, school officials are working to ensure something like that doesn’t happen again.
“Our staff has worked very closely with students,” said Martin Foster, superintendent of the Re5J School District. “Mr. Bruce (principal) is planning some activities with counseling and speakers coming in to address hazing, harassment and those type of things.”
On March 3, six students from the baseball team were suspended for an incident that occurred on a trip to Delta for a tournament.
According to a report by 9News, a parent said in an interview that her son was one of five freshman boys who were held down while upperclassmen rubbed their genitals on the players’ faces.
On Wednesday, Foster said he could not elaborate on the school’s investigation of the incident, but he confirmed the students are still suspended.
“We are conducting an investigation of the alleged incident and will follow up with appropriate disciplinary actions,” said Foster, who noted the school has up to a calendar year to expel the students.
Foster said students seem to be moving on from the investigation their team faces.
“Students are coming to terms with all that has happened. They are a good group of students,” Foster said. “I think everyone has learned a pretty hard lesson in regards to this.”
Athletic director Linda Klipp said her athletes have showed resolve, especially the baseball team, which is off to a solid start to the season.
“It’s really died down,” Klipp said. “The baseball team is doing well and has come together.”
Klipp said the school is working with groups from Boulder to discuss a possible hazing program. The potential program would address the general school population and a more specific program for athletes, Klipp said.
“We understand when you have something that affects a team like it did, you are going to have some ramifications from it,” Klipp said.
Seventh Judicial District Attorney Myrl Serra said last week his office is helping the Delta Police Department investigate the reports. He did not return phone calls this week.
Johnstown police chief Reggie Mayes said last week that his department gathered information and passed it on to investigators in Delta.
The incident comes on the heels of five wrestlers at Loveland Middle School who were suspended two days in February and held from competition for a week after a “nasty incident” in which authorities noted students touched their genitals and buttocks and then proceeded to rub their hands on other students’ faces.
One student’s mother pulled her child from the district after that incident.
The Re-5J School District and the district attorney’s office in Delta will continue to conduct separate investigations into reports of hazing by Roosevelt High School students.