Possible hazing involving members of Eisenhower football team under investigation
NEW BERLIN, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The School District of New Berlin is investigating possible hazing happening on the New Berlin Eisenhower football team.
Parents of New Berlin Eisenhower lower classmen say seniors are making them drop their pants, bend over, and paddling them. The school district says after looking into the allegations, they believe the hazing did happen.
The district sent a letter to football families on September 11 saying in part, "We believe, based on the information provided to us, the hazing occurred off school grounds and without knowledge of any of our coaching or school staff."
See the full statement from Superintendent Joe Garza:
"We received an anonymous tip making us aware of possible hazing by members of the Eisenhower football program. We take allegations like this seriously, and therefore, we immediately conducted an internal investigation
Based on that investigation, we believe hazing did occur, off school grounds and without knowledge of any of our coaching or school staff. While we will not discuss specifics with the media, student-athletes involved in these incidents will be held accountable. We believe the investigation and actions taken by the District in response to these incidents will resonate with all our student-athletes and send a firm message that this behavior will not be tolerated in the School District of New Berlin."
Paddling is listed under the New Berlin district's hazing policy and carries a penalty of missing 20% of the season and notifying the student's parent or guardian.
New Berlin Eisenhower's principal says he is shocked and disappointed in the hazing. Students and parents say multiple players have been temporarily suspended. Some parents say the punishment has gone overboard, and they're considering legal action.
The WIAA says these issues are usually handled within the district.
"They may apply their code of conduct. Or…and, they're going to follow their district policy on bullying. And each school district by state law is required to have a bullying policy, so I'm sure they're going to have to follow their local policy," says WIAA Deputy Director Wade Labecki.
New Berlin says they will work with the team to ensure this behavior does not happen in the future.