A Northbridge hazing case has a Massachusetts school district on the defense after reports that players on the football team forced a freshman player to drink urine after a practice.
Police investigated the incident, which reportedly took place August 19 at a football practice. After the freshman football player lost a “sled race” to another freshman in the locker room, a group of older players pressured him into taking a drink from a jug of water that also had urine in it.
The boy initially told police he didn’t drink from the jug, but later said he took a sip of the tainted water and spit it out immediately.
Two days later, principal Michael Gauthier called police to report the incident, but the freshman player declined to pursue the issue.
Though police said the Northbridge hazing case will not bring any charges, the school district is still facing criticism.
As the school year started and the case started to gain national attention, administrators seemed put off by the attention the case has brought them. Athletic director Al Richards said he would not comment on the case, but authorities later said that the players involved had been suspended from school and some games.
“This was investigated and handled last Tuesday. Done,” Richards said. “They’ve been handed their penalties; they’re serving their penalties.”
Richards said the school had done its due diligence in investigating the hazing case, and that “nobody else needs to be involved.”
When asked if the public had a right to know about the Northbridge hazing and a potential crime that took place on school grounds, Richards seemed to grow upset.
“The parents of the so-called victim don’t want anything to happen,” he said. “It was kids being kids. That’s their attitude. End of story.”
But the story of the Northbridge hazing has not ended there. By midweek the story had been picked up by media outlets nationwide and was a top trending search on Yahoo, with many writers and commenters calling on the district to investigate and address the incident.