Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Update: Andover sends out a letter to parents

On my last blog post, I called for Andover High School to act on the allegations that two students were hazed last summer at a basketball camp. Well, AHS has yet to act officially but they did send out a letter to parents saying that the hazing rules were violated and that action was going to be taken soon.

Rumor is that multiple suspensions are being handed down and potentially 2 expulsions as well. More to come as it becomes official but it sounds like AHS did what was right in the end. Eagle Tribune's outstanding article on the case is here.

Superintendent McGrath wrote to Andover Parents tonight:

A thorough investigation has been completed and submitted to me, and I am saddened to report to 
you that the investigation concluded there were violations of our policies. As a school district, we will now take all appropriate action in accordance with our district policies and state law.  While I fully understand and appreciate that you are legitimately interested in the outcomes for the violations of these policies, I am prohibited by federal and state laws from disclosing information about individual student discipline.  I can tell you, however, that in the case of violations of our anti-bullying and anti-hazing policies, our school district policies permit a range of disciplinary actions which include suspension and expulsion from school.  You have my assurance that I intend to strictly enforce these policies based upon the evidence and to the extent allowed by our policies and laws.  We will address, separately, the involvement of any Andover Public Schools employees in connection with these allegations. 

AD Chris Bergeron to Andover Parents tonight:

After consultation with Superintendent Marinel McGrath and Andover High School 
Principal Thomas Sharkey, I intend to suspend student-athletes from participation in the 
Andover High School 2011-2012 athletic program for varying periods of time due to apparent violations of Andover High School athletic policies and rules. 

Any student-athletes who may be subject to possible suspensions have certain procedural rights which must be honored and I will be following that process. The Athletic Department is committed to the best interests of all student-athletes who participate in its programs and will rigorously protect those interests. As stated in the rules, which apply to all athletic programs, participation in the AHS Athletic Program is a privilege, not a right, and the highest standards of conduct will be enforced.  

I wonder if Mr. Bergeron would have done this if the Bill Burt's story doesn't run? And for the record, Andover learned of this on November 11th. It's November 30th. Better late than never though.

EDIT: This paragraph from the linked article above is identical to what I first wrote about on Sunday. I'm glad my town and I still think alike: The two ringleaders of the hazing were expelled while the others involved received suspensions for an unknown amount of time and will not be allowed to compete in school sports for the remainder of the school year, sources said.

I wrote:  Any player found to have participated in the hazing of the young men on the campus of Stonehill College should be off the basketball team for no less than one year. 

EDIT 2: Ring leaders who are expelled take to Facebook to plan a secret meeting ... not very secret guys. SMH. 


Anonymous said...

"And for the record, Andover learned of this on November 11th. It's November 30th. Better late than never though."

Awesome comment. You mean it took them a whole 19 days to maturely and deliberately consider this, speak with legal counsel, get accounts from the people involved, etc., instead of rushing off to some half-assed judgement, talk-radio style? How dare they?!

So now you are going to correct/rescind your ridiculous previous comments about how big-money influences in Andover were preventing a fair decision because the AHS b-ball program is somehow such a huge cash cow for the public school, right? Oh wait, I forgot, this is talk-radio style: there is no accountability, even when naming names and dealing with people's livelihoods. Just quick judgements and the expectation of immediate action/gratification.

Matt Perrault said...

Yes, 19 days was too long. And - what if Bill Burt's article doesn't come out ... does this even happen?? I don't know who you are - but you are so far in the wrong here, it's not even worth arguing with you

Anonymous said...

Kindly write to the Boston Globe and demand an immediate life sentence for Whitey Bulger. He did, as we all know, alledgedly commit 19 murders. You are really on a roll lately in terms of telling authority figures how to deliver justice. After all, AHS officials were smart enough to do "exactly what you said." Why limit your influence to the merrimack valley? You're really on to something here with this idea of playing hardball with criminals. And this due process thing is over-rated.

Anonymous said...

Yup, I'm the guy who is so far in the wrong because I said nothing would happen to these kids because of big money influences in Andover. Oh wait, that was you.

I'm the one who implied I have some kind of relationship with Fazio when I never even played varsity and Fazio wouldn't know me from a hole in the wall. Oh wait, that was you.

I'm the one who got in a violent fight on school premises when I was a student with Tom C. A fight that resulted in no expulsions and no letters being sent to parents. Oh wait, that was also you.

You are PERFECT for talk-radio: you are all incitement and quick judgements based on speculation, and you are unable to think logically or deliberate (or admit when you are wrong). You have def. chosen the right field, good luck with that.

tmn4fun said...

Matt, what's your take on todays story in the LET. I can't believe the nerve and stupidity that this kid is showing. The police are still doing their investigation and he is trying to set up secret meetings (on school grounds no less)and using somewhat threatening langauge. Then to compound it, several of the page members say they liked his post.

Maybe it's time for someone to put names with some of these offenders rather then calling them ringleaders and observers.

Matt Perrault said...

As far as names, I know who the 2 expelled kids are. I also have been told that one of them has a history of bullying.

These are minors and putting their names out there isn't appropriate (or legal) but they are known in Andover already.

The secret meeting is a pathetic attempt by those involved and the fact that it was going to happen on school grounds shows you how out of touch they are.

As far as the person who keeps bringing up a fight I got into when I was 17 ... are you serious? Did beat the hell out of kid? Yeah, he was also sleeping with my girlfriend. I think I was justified in what I did.

Stop trying to change the topic by bringing up things that have nothing to do with this story.

Anonymous said...

Ringleader was still getting tweets by pals offering help AFTER the facebook incident. It appears he's done bad things on Facebook before and had it taken away. A June tweet of his said that he'd lost facebook privledges but "they" don't know he has twitter. Well, "they" do now ... as of my ET post on Dec 4th. This person lacks all remorse and he thought he could still use twitter after it was publicly revealed he was using Facebook. Yup, it was just today that Twitter has finally been removed. There is still other stuff online. The posts of his reveal a horrible person with references to "homos" and other such heinous thinking. It would be great to continue exposing the depth of his hateful and sick personality. He will keep at it until he is behind bars. Doesn't anyone realize this?