Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

News

February 12, 2009

Schools Investigating Sexual ‘Hazing’ At Junior High

The saying goes “boys will be boys” but some student athletes at the Greensburg Junior High School may have taken their pranks too far.

The Greensburg Daily News learned that at some point early in the junior high basketball season, members of the boys’ team engaged in some locker room hijinks that escalated into inappropriate behavior.

Greensburg School Superintendent Tom Hunter and School Resource Officer Bruce Copple confirmed an investigation has been launched into an incident in which members of the basketball team allegedly physically restrained other team members while others sat on them, either clothed in undergarments or nude, and slapped the restrained players in the face with their genitalia.

Both Hunter and Copple conceded the incident likely took place before Christmas, but the corporation had only learned of the incident a few weeks ago after a staff member overheard a conversation and a student reluctantly came forward.

Although no formal complaint has been lodged with the corporation, Copple said an investigation was launched immediately and all the student athletes were summoned for a meeting with principal Dr. Rodney King, school athletic director David Strause and Copple.

“We met with every athlete and told them what would happen,” Copple said.

Hunter passed down the message to the students, he said, that this behavior would not be accepted.

“It’s locker room hijinks. It’s harassment. It’s hazing, but we’re not going to tolerate it. We made it clear this isn’t going to happen,” Hunter said.

Further incidents, he noted, would be met by a stiff punishment, including expulsion and a ban from ever participating in Greensburg athletics.

While the punishment for further incidents has been spelled out to the students, Copple said the administration has not closed the case on this.

“The book is wide open,” he said.

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