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Tallmadge High School latest to see serious charges in football hazing

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TALLMADGE — Call it a prank, initiation, or even hazing. But police are calling what happened to a student at Tallmadge High School a criminal act.
And two of his fellow students on the football team are facing serious charges.

“They were just messing around and held him down. I guess or something or another,” says Tallmadge student Jeff Chambliss.

Tallmadge police aren’t saying much about what exactly happened during the hazing, but they did charge one student with rape, the other with attempted rape.

Police say it happened in August, just as the football season was kicking off. But students say no one really knew about the incident until the senior running back and junior offensive lineman were pulled out of class and booked on charges Wednesday morning.

“[I’m] kind of sad about that, I didn’t think that any of them were capable of being like that,” says Tallmadge student Samantha Coon.

Not only had students not heard of the incident, many of them weren’t aware the Blue Devil’s sport teams did any hazing.

“I know back in Springfield where I used to go it happened a lot. But not here, not in Tallmadge,” says Devin Crawford.

The two juveniles were scheduled to appear before a judge sometime Thursday. They are being held at the Summit County juvenile detention facility until the outcome of that hearing.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; 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 current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily--http://realalaskadaily.com and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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