As School Axes Football Season, Dark Tale Emerges

Sayresville community is rocked by hazing allegations
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2014 1:07 PM CDT
As School Axes Football Season, Dark Tale Emerges
In this Friday, Oct. 3, 2014 photo, the Sayreville Board of Education hold a press conference to address a hazing incident that "went too far"on the football team.   (AP Photo/ Home News Tribune, Mark R. Sullivan)

Sayreville War Memorial High School's football team has won the state title three times in the last four years, so the New Jersey community was rocked when the Board of Education abruptly canceled the rest of the season on Monday, with Superintendent Richard Labbe citing "incidents of harassment, intimidation, and bullying that took place on a pervasive level, and at a level in which the players knew, tolerated, and in general accepted." Parents emerged from that meeting outraged, with one calling the move "bogus," and another complaining that "their season is taken away from them and they did nothing wrong." Now, one anonymous parent tells the dark realities of the locker room, as told to him by his son, a player.

"[For] 10 seconds, the lights would go off and they would grab a freshman and they would go on," he says, saying that older players routinely held younger players down and forced a finger into their rectum—then sometimes into their mouth. "It was happening every day," he says. "They would get the freshmen." Labbe wouldn't confirm the parent's account, calling the matter "very serious." No charges have yet been filed, and some parents remain convinced the situation is being blown out of proportion. "They were talking about a butt being grabbed," says one player's mom. "That’s about it. No one was hurt. No one died." (More Sayreville stories.)

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