Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


February 25, 2009

Five Suspended For Junior High Incident

An investigation into the inappropriate acts allegedly committed by some members of the Greensburg Junior High School boys basketball team has come to an end.

The Greensburg Daily News independently confirmed through sources within and close to the school that five male students - four eighth graders and a seventh grader - were suspended Monday for their part in an inappropriate hazing-style incident that occurred sometime before Christmas. The eighth grade students received five-day suspensions while the seventh grader was given a three-day penalty. The students will not be named by the Daily News in keeping with policies regarding minors in addition to no criminal charges having been filed.

Official comment on the outcome could not be ascertained by the Daily News. An e-mail sent to Superintendent Tom Hunter Monday evening went unanswered as well as a phone call to his home Tuesday. School Resource Officer Bruce Copple deferred comment to the corporation administration.

Sources said the boys would still be allowed to participate in class through homework and allowed to make-up any missed tests. The school’s suspension policy does not prohibit the students from still doing their homework during the disciplinary period. According to policy 5610-A, “’Suspension’ shall be a temporary removal of a student by the school principal from the Corporation’s program for a period not to exceed ten (10) school days. A student may be suspended for a longer period of time in accordance with the provisions of I.C. 20-33-8-23 pending expulsion.”

The boys were suspended after an investigation into an incident where members of the basketball team restrained at least one other team mate while players sat on them either clothed in undergarments or nude and slapped the restrained boy in the face with their genitalia.

The school corporation did not learn of the incident until about a month ago, according to Copple in a story published on Feb. 13. Upon learning of the incident, an investigation was launched, and all male student athletes participating in football and basketball were called for a meeting with Copple, athletic director David Strouse and principal Dr. Rodney King. During that meeting, Hunter said in the story published Feb. 13, students were told those who perpetrated this and any future actions could be subject to expulsion and a ban from Greensburg athletics. While not confirmed by the administration, independent sources said no such sanctions were imposed on the five players.

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