Fruitland High School

Fruitland High School

FRUITLAND — Two students who play football on Fruitland High School’s junior varsity team allege that on Oct. 14 they and another student were victims of a hazing incident. According to a news release from the Payette County Sheriff’s Office, which is currently investigating the complaint, states that no charges have been filed at this time.

Superintendent Lyle Bayley would not comment on whether any students are suspended due to the incident, however said “rest assured” the district was “aware” of the complaint and “is following up on that.” He said that anytime there is something that goes against the district policy, they follow discipline policies.

“This incident is no different than that,” Bayley said.

As far as what he could elaborate on?

“Nothing,” the superintendent said.

According to the complaint, details of which were provided in the news release, 11 members of the varsity football team were involved in the hazing of three students, two who are 14 and one who is 15. The investigation is ongoing and the sheriff said he believes all the suspects are juveniles, however added that with all of them being seniors at Fruitland High School, some of them could be 18 years old.

The incident was reported to the Payette County Sheriff’s Office by two of the students the night that it allegedly occurred. According to the complaint, after a junior varsity game on Oct. 14, the varsity players took the younger players to McDonalds. After eating there, the older players allegedly drove the victims to Birding Island South, outside of New Plymouth and tied the younger players to a fence, shocking one of them with a dog collar. The complaint states that the varsity players then removed the restraints and returned the younger football players to the high school.

What is the district policy on hazing?

According to the Fruitland High School student handbook, “hazing of any kind to other students may be cause or reason for disciplinary action.” Furthermore it states that “any act of bullying, threatening, hazing, harassment, intimidation or menacing will not be tolerated,” and that “all complaints will be promptly investigated,” in accordance with District Policy No. 512.2.

The policy defines hazing as any act that includes, but is not limited to “recklessly or intentionally” endangering the mental or physical health or safety of a student for the purpose of initiation, precondition or conditional membership or affiliation with “any district-sponsored activity or grade level attainment.” Those actions include forcing someone to do something, such as consuming any drink, drug or controlled substance, being exposed to the elements, prolonged exclusion from social contact, sleep deprivation or other activities. Hazing is also defined as actions that require, encourage, authorize or permit another person “to be subject to wearing or carrying any obscene or physically burdensome article, assignment of pranks to be performed or other such activities intended to degrade or humiliate.” that could adversely affect the mental or physical health or safety of a student.

According to that policy’s complaint procedures, the building principal and superintendent are responsible for investigations concerning such incidents.

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