UPDATE: 3 Pa. High School Football Players Face Hazing Charges
The separate hazing incidents involved football teams from Middletown Area High School and Mohawk High School in Pennsylvania.
UPDATE SEPTEMBER 7, 2022: Three players for the Mohawk Area High School football team are facing criminal charges over an alleged hazing incident that happened in August, reports 11News. The district says the incident happened in the campus gym and equipment room between varsity football practices.
It’s unclear exactly what happened, but the district attorney’s office says the three students abused, humiliated, and assaulted five of their teammates. Investigators didn’t find any evidence of sexual abuse or use of objects during the incident. No adults were involved in the incident, and they weren’t aware it had occurred.
Investigators interviewed 25 witnesses.
ORIGINAL AUGUST 24, 2022 ARTICLE:
Two Pennsylvania high school football teams are being investigated for separate hazing incidents that occurred in the same week.
Middletown Area High School’s football team is being investigated over an August 11 hazing incident.
According to a statement released by Middletown Area School District Superintendent Dr. Chelton Hunter, during a heat acclimation practice session, a group of players restrained two of their teammates and used a muscle therapy gun and another piece of athletic equipment to “poke the buttock areas of the students who were on the ground.”
The statement goes on to say that the players were fully clothed, and no student’s body was physically penetrated.
The district received reports of the hazing the following day and administrators immediately “opened an investigation, met with students, reviewed cell phone video of the incident, and contacted the Lower Swatara Township Police Department.”
“To be clear, Middletown Area School District will not tolerate hazing, is committed to investigating all reported incidents of hazing, and is actively engaged in pursuing discipline for the students responsible for violating our policies in this case,” Hunter said. “The District is cooperating with law enforcement investigators and will continue doing so until the investigation is completed. We are addressing this matter with the utmost sense of urgency to ensure that our school environment is free from behaviors that are meant to demean, humiliate or harm other students. Once all investigations are concluded, the District will be working to develop additional protocols and supports to promote a positive school climate and culture for all students.”
The other Pennsylvania football team being investigated for hazing hails from Mohawk High School. The Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office is conducting the investigation.
Parents told 11 News that on August 18 they were notified an incident had happened involving the football team, and parents were told to pick up their children by 1:30 p.m.
Mohawk Area School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Leitera released the following statement about the incident:
“The District has been made aware of allegations involving the high school football team and claims of potential unlawful activity. In accordance with legal requirements, the appropriate law enforcement authorities were contacted and the District’s Administration is conducting an investigation. Parents of football team members have been notified of the issue and all appropriate steps are being taken to ensure the safety of the District’s students and to investigate the matter thoroughly. Because this matter involves minor students and matters protected by student confidentiality, the District will not be providing additional details while the investigation is pending.”
If you are a victim of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-4673 or chat online at online.rainn.org for help. Additional resources for victims can be found here.