NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Redbank Valley School District Superintendent Amy Rupp released a statement today regarding hazing incidents that led to the suspension of three students and removal of a coach from the Bulldogs’ football program.
According to the statement, the incidents (which were not detailed) occurred on Oct. 4 and Oct. 11. The hazing “did not result in physical injury.”
“Behavior involving hazing, taunting, or actions that cause extreme embarrassment such as the ones that took place simply will not be tolerated,” Rupp said. “As soon as the players involved in the hazing were identified they were suspended from the football team pending the outcome of the investigation and the completion of the student discipline process.”
Rupp said the investigation was completed on Oct. 18 and the district determined that “hazing did, in fact, occur.”
The Bulldogs played last Friday’s game at Port Allegany down approximately 10 players from their listed roster. When contacted about the absences via text message Friday, RBV Athletic Director responded, “We do not comment on medical conditions of players or disciplinary policy of players.”
Thursday’s statement did not name the students disciplined or the coach who was removed.
“Three players were disciplined, one coach was removed, and the head coach and coaching staff were given a firm directive to maintain a heightened awareness, as well as to affirmatively address and report any possibility or suggestion of hazing behavior,” Rupp said.
Rupp confirmed that both the varsity and junior varsity seasons would continue and that if future games were canceled it would be a coaching decision, not a directive from the school district.
“We will not be communicating further on student or adult discipline related to these incidents,” Rupp said. “We will do all we can to move forward in a positive manner. This includes finishing the football seasons for both the JV and Varsity programs. If any games are canceled moving forward, it is a coaching decision, and questions should be directed accordingly.”