Several players from a New Hampshire high school football game have been suspended from the team, as well as having been given other punishments, after video emerged of the boys beating a duck to death with a broomstick.
As Parkersburg, West Virginia’s WTAP-TV reports, it seems that a couple of weeks ago, some members of the football team at Kennett High School in Conway were at football camp when they noticed a pond with some ducks in it. The lads lured the birds out of the water and, in one incident, one of the boys struck one of the birds in the head with a broomstick.
School Administration Unit 9 Superintendent Kevin Richard said that the duck was “maimed pretty badly,” and that one of the other boys effectively “euthanized” the animal.
The video was posted to social media, and days later, it caught the attention of school officials, including the boys’ football coaches.
The boys have all been given varying degrees of punishment based on their involvement in the incident. Several have been suspended from one or more games; others have, separately or additionally, been given community service or other punishments. What those punishments are will likely never be known for certain, as public schools rarely discuss student discipline in the media, due to student privacy concerns.
Thanks to everyone who joined us for a town hall in Conway this afternoon including Ms. Murdough's AP Government class from Kennett High School. pic.twitter.com/6WnOsIu94l
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) March 20, 2019
As far as criminal charges, it seems that they are off the table. Maj. David Walsh with New Hampshire’s Fish and Game Department says his agency was brought in to investigate, and that there’s little to nothing that can be done, criminally.
“These students are juveniles, so they certainly can’t be charged with anything. Their parents would be charged, if we charged them, and the fine amounts would be minuscule. So, suspensions and community service, everyone agreed was the effective punishment,” he said.
Richard, meanwhile, says he’s been getting phone calls about the incident, and not everyone is convinced that the boys were punished appropriately, with some saying it was too light, and others saying it was too harsh.
“You do have very strong opinions both ways, and you try to come back to what you think is reasonable and also recognizing that these are adolescents that make bad choices. This was a grievous mistake,” he said.
This is not the first time that high school football players have been punished for off-the-field shenanigans. As reported at the time by The Inquisitr, back in June two high school football players in Utah were suspended after they were captured on video burning an LGBTQ+ pride flag and making homophobic statements.