Four upperclassmen football players at Northbridge High School in Massachusetts reportedly pressured a freshman player to sip urine from a water jug last week in a hazing incident that has tight-lipped school administrators brushing it off as "kids being kids."
The freshman told police the older boys challenged him to a "sled pad" race in the locker room after practice on Aug. 19. He lost and was then pressured to drink from a gallon jug of water with urine in it. The teen said he took a sip and spit it out but was not physically forced to consume the urine, according to a Worcester Telegram & Gazette report on the Northbridge football freshman hazing.
Someone reported the alleged hazing to Northbridge's principal, who went to local police.
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"There was an incident that came to our attention through the school," Police Chief Walter J. Warchol said in a statement Monday. "We interviewed the victim and parents of the victim and they chose not to prosecute criminally. We honored their wishes. It was sent to the school administration to take whatever action they deemed appropriate. It's in the hands of the schools."
But school administrators declined to say what action, if any, had been taken against the upperclassmen football players.
"I am prohibited by law from giving out any specific information on consequences," Superintendent Nancy Spitulnik told reporters. "I'm sorry. It's state law."
Athletic Director Al Richards summed up the hazing another way:
"The parents of the so-called victim don't want anything to happen," he said. "It was kids being kids. That's their attitude. End of story."
Spitulnik later released a statement through the school district.
"The Northbridge Public School District takes all incidents of hazing seriously, and follows strict protocols whenever an incident occurs," the statement read. "We do a thorough investigation, and apply appropriate consequences that match the seriousness of the situation."
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