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Hazing only part of it. Player claims brutal assault in South Carolina

From the Charleston Daly Mail

GRANTSVILLE — State Police and school officials are investigating the alleged hazing of a Calhoun High School football player.Mitchell Patterson, 16, of Orma, claims four of his Red Devils teammates attacked him in the weight room during practice Thursday, one of them choking him until he passed out.

When he came to, he said he was lying on his stomach with his wrists and ankles taped tightly.

Sgt. Jeff Skidmore of the State Police’s Grantsville detachment said troopers are looking into the matter and are still taking statements from witnesses.

Calhoun County Schools Superintendent Jane Lynch declined to comment on the matter, saying an investigation is underway.

Sherry Patterson, Mitchell’s mother, said her son has played football ever since he was able — except for taking a season off last year to work with her in a carpet store.

But after Thursday’s incident, she said her son has quit football for good. The family is in the process of transferring their children to a school out of the county.

“He’s terrified,” she said. “He’s almost a shell of the person he used to be.”

Sherry said other teammates had been teasing Mitchell — a free safety — throughout the practice that day, stuffing dirty socks and underwear beneath his pads.

Sherry said Mitchell, a junior, called her on his cell phone in the midst of this and talked about quitting the team because of the bullying.

The team broke for lunch in the gymnasium. After lunch, Mitchell went into the weight room and sat on a bench, she said.

One of the boys that had been teasing Mitchell walked in and sat beside him, offering his hand as if to apologize, his mother said. At that point, another player — whom Sherry said is 18-years-old — allegedly came up from behind and got Mitchell in a chokehold.

Mitchell told his mother one of the boys said, “That’s what you get for running your smart mouth.”

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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