Sayreville War Memorial High School came into limelight last month when news regarding bullying and sexual harassment came on surface. According to the reports, a senior football players of the Sayreville team tortured freshman in the locker rooms. The victims reported that senior players targeted freshman in the locker room, pinned them on the floor and assaulted them via inappropriate manners which included touching their private parts and hit them while other senior players of the team held his arms and legs. (MARGOLIN) The news came as a shock to many, as charges were filed against 7 senior players of the Sayreville high school team. The charges were filled in 4 separate incidents. According to witnesses, the incident on Sept. 19 took in this manner. ‘ Hootie hoo’ is the signal that senior players yelled to start the hazing. One of the freshmen was grabbed; the lights were flicked on and off continuously, the volume of the music was increased so that the loud noises made by freshman may not go outside the locker room. The arms of the boy were caught tightly by two seniors and another one punched and kicked him. Although the punches and kicks were not fatal, these were hard enough to matter nevertheless. (NBC New York)
As soon as the incident was known to the high school administration, it took strict actions. In the first step, all seven members were suspended from high school .The players of the football team are charged, for the harassment and sexual assault. It is still to determine, whether the trial would be conducted in a juvenile or adult court. Victims also mentioned that the majority of committer belonged to a certain ethnicity, but the Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey shares the view that race may not be a factor in this case. The board of the education also suspended the head coach along with four assistant coaches. (NJ.com) The names of the seven members were not released because they are less than 18 years of age. The matter came to the limelight because the Sayreville high school canceled the football season which caused the matter to appear before public. The football season was canceled as a result of the scandal. The high school went a step further and requested other teams and schools to join hands against the curse of bullying and harassing. Four teams, in the bordering state, had joined the stand, till the last news.
RE: New policy changes in athletics teams.
The board of education wants to make sure that Incident like high school football team may not happen again. The new players of the team have complaint about their seniors hazing them. The board has devised new policies which include, instructions to coaches to have strict observations, the launching of a campaign for students regarding harassment, sensitivity training beginning from Nov.21, Regular Inspection of the locker rooms and personal interviews from students on sample basis.
The unfortunate incident at the football team is a highly undesired event. The Board of the education wants to make sure that such does not happen in the future. It is important that some new policies must be devised to avoid happening such events. Therefore, the memo is directed not only to the football coach but to the coaches of all disciplines and sports. It is important to describe the complaints made by the football team members against their seniors. Four new team members at Sayreville (freshman as they are called in student circles) made complain to the board of education that they were tortured in the locker room by their seniors and torture was carried out in a highly inappropriate manner. This all occurred when the football coach was present at the situation. (The football coach has already been suspended and investigations are going through to identify his level of involvement in the incident.) The seven senior students have also been suspended, and the charges made against them are under investigation.
The Following policies have been derived to avoid happening such incidents in the future.
- The Coaches are instructed to have a strict observation on the behavior of their team members. If they find that any of their players is involved in bullying or harassing their co-team members, he is directed to inform this immediately to the Board of Education.
- The High School is launching a campaign for the students. The campaign will educate them regarding bullying, harassing and hazing whether at locker room or class, by their teachers, coaches or fellow students and the actions and rights that are provided with to cope with this situation.
- The board has decided to initiate Sensitivity training for students. The training will start from Friday 21 November; the venue will be the Boardroom. The students will be educated regarding serious and sensitive issues that my effect their minds.
- New locker room policies are being devised which include regular inspections of locker rooms by senior teachers and personal interviews from selected players.
MARGOLIN, JOSH. 'Coach Suspensions Continued In Football Hazing Scandal.' ABC News. N.p., 2014. Web. 7 Nov. 2014.
NBC New York,. 'Board Votes To Suspend Sayreville Football Coaches'. N.p., 2014. Web. 7 Nov. 2014.
NJ.com,. 'Sayreville Football Scandal Has N.J. Senate Dems Backing New Bill Requiring Educators, Coaches To Report Abuse'. N.p., 2014. Web. 7 Nov. 2014.