Two thousand people are demanding harsher punishment for high school football players sidelined in New Hampshire after a fatal attack on a duck. Graphic video filmed two weeks ago at a training camp in Moultonborough shows athletes from North Conway's Kennett High School watching as wild ducks are lured from Lake Winnipesaukee's Moultonborough Bay, per WMUR and the Conway Daily Sun. A student is then seen strangling a duck after another student whacks it with a broomstick. "Essentially, one of the other students euthanized the duck. It was maimed pretty badly," says Superintendent Kevin Richard, per WMUR. Officials say coaches were notified days later, and an investigation was launched.
Sgt. Alex Lopashanski of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department tells the Daily Sun he won't pursue charges after meeting with the coach and athletic director. Acknowledging widespread anger at the incident, Richard says officials tried to do what was "reasonable," while "recognizing that these are adolescents that make bad choices," per WMUR. He says suspensions, community service, and other punishments were handed out depending on a student's level of involvement. The Daily Sun reports three to six players were to be suspended for up to three games in what 2,000 signers of a Change.org petition feel is too lenient a response. (This follows a strangely similar incident in Alabama.)