Tags: high school | cancels | football | season

High School Cancels Football Season Over Bullying, Harassment Claims

By    |   Tuesday, 07 Oct 2014 03:35 PM

"We have canceled the remainder of the football season." That was the message from a high school in New Jersey after its football team was accused of pervasive bullying, intimidation, and harassment.

The Sayreville War Memorial High School football team, which has won three sectional titles over four years, had a parent meeting Monday night to make the announcement.

The district already had canceled and forfeited a game that was scheduled last week between Sayreville and South Brunswick and announced that the Middlesex County prosecutor's office was investigating the allegations, The Associated Press reported.

"There was enough evidence that there were incidents of harassment, of intimidation and bullying that took place on a pervasive level, on a wide-scale level and at a level at which the players knew, tolerated and generally accepted," Superintendent Richard Labbe told reporters Monday night. "Based upon what has been substantiated to have occurred, we have canceled the remainder of the football season."

Labbe said he could not discuss the investigation, and the prosecutor's office has declined to release details. No charges have been filed, but Labbe said Prosecutor Andrew Carey told him there is credible evidence to back up the allegations of bullying and harassment within the program.

Kishan Patel, a 17-year-old senior, said outside of the school Tuesday that a lot of students expressed support for the football players during classes.

"It's all people were talking about all day. ... Everybody's got the football players' backs," Patel said.

Corinne Kalev, whose daughter attends the middle school adjacent to high school, said that football is a big part of fall for the town.

"I think the parents might be more upset than the kids, because this might be these kids' future," Kalev said. "Some of them are really good players and it seems like because of a couple of kids, the whole team is being punished."

Also last week, an assistant football coach at the high school resigned amid allegations that he possessed steroids. Labbe said at the time that the allegations against the former defensive coordinator were the focus of a separate investigation and were not related to the cancellation of last week's game.

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"We have canceled the remainder of the football season." That was the message from a high school in New Jersey after its football team was accused of pervasive bullying, intimidation, and harassment.
high school, cancels, football, season
360
2014-35-07
Tuesday, 07 Oct 2014 03:35 PM
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