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Illicit CP - October 2004
Asbury Park Press, New Jersey, 8 October 2004
Athletes disciplined in paddling
By Joe Zedalis
POINT PLEASANT BEACH -- Two varsity football players were disciplined after they "paddled" three freshman players following a team dinner on Sept. 30, school officials confirmed yesterday.
F. Thomas Crawley, superintendent of schools, said the incident occurred at a private home.
Paddling involves using an object -- typically a wooden paddle -- to strike someone's buttocks. Crawley, who did not say what kind of object was used, said the incident violated the district's policy against bullying and hazing.
Crawley said none of the freshmen were injured. He would not name any players involved, nor discuss the nature of the disciplinary action against the varsity athletes.
Police Chief Daniel DePolo said his department was informed of the incident, but did not open an investigation. DePolo said it was not a criminal matter, adding that school officials handled the situation appropriately.
"The incident was taken seriously and handled professionally by (high school) Principal Raymond Ellis," Crawley said. "The parents of all the students involved were notified; the players themselves and the football team were addressed by the principal."
Ellis was undergoing wrist surgery yesterday and was unavailable for comment. Head coach Nick Giglio was out of school and also unavailable for comment.
"I am confident that after the way Ray (Ellis) handled the situation, it will never happen again," Crawley said. "The two seniors are embarrassed and have expressed a desire to make it up to their teammates."
Crawley said the incident took place after a team dinner at a private residence. Traditionally, team members gather for a meal the night before a game.
Crawley said the two bigger players (the seniors) paddled three younger ones (the freshmen) once each.
"The paddling was almost casual," Crawley said. "There was nothing sexual about the incident; it was just a couple of seniors making a bad decision. They thought they were being cool but ended up being stupid. The two seniors owned up to what they did and they understand what they did was wrong."
Crawley said Ellis met with the parents of the victims, the two seniors and the owner of the home where the incident occurred.
The two seniors were disciplined by the school district only. James C. Loper, assistant director of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association in Mercer County, said its policy on hazing or bullying incidents involving athletes is "home rule."
"We defer to the policies of the individual board of education," Loper said.
Daily Item, Sunbury, Pennsylvania, 14 October 2004
Milton school officials investigating alleged hazing incident
By G. Wayne Laepple
MILTON Milton School District officials are investigating an alleged hazing incident in which as many as five sophomore football players were paddled by at least one senior member of the football team.
A statement from Steve Butkie, athletic director, released Wednesday afternoon, said, "A reported incidence of hazing is being investigated at the Milton Area Senior High School involving several students following an athletic practice. Instigators involved in this incident were given consequences consistent with school policy regarding hazing and discipline.
"Known victims were interviewed by district administrators and parents were notified. Local law enforcement was notified and the investigation is ongoing."
During the school board work session held Tuesday evening, Wayne Cromley, the father of one of the alleged victims, asked the board what was being done about the incident.
Kevin Fry, board president, told Cromley that an investigation was under way.
He requested that Cromley call the school to arrange a meeting with Brian Noaker, high school principal, Dr. William Clark, superintendent and Butkie to discuss the matter.
Fry said he could not comment further since it was a personnel issue.
The alleged incident took place prior to the pep rally on Oct. 7, when five 10th-grade team members were paddled as part of an "initiation."
The paddling took place in the shower area in the locker room at the high school, it was reported.
The beatings left at least one boy bleeding, according to reports, while others sustained bruises to their buttocks and thighs.
Coaches were in the area during the incident, it was reported, but did not realize what was going on.
The victims are said to have made the paddles in the school's wood shop as part of the initiation ritual.
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