KIHS JV lacrosse sea­son can­celed

Sunday Star - - FRONT PAGE - By AN­GELA PRICE bay­times@kibay­times.com

STEVENSVILLE — The in­ves­ti­ga­tion into an April 13 as­sault in the boys locker room at Kent Is­land High School is con­tin­u­ing, but Prin­ci­pal John R. Schre­con­gost an­nounced Fri­day, April 20, the ju­nior var­sity boy’s lacrosse team will for­feit the re­main­der of the sea­son ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately, mean­ing they would not play Fri­day’s game against Stephen De­catur.

“While not all play­ers were in­volved, a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber were ac­tively or pas­sively en­gaged in highly in­ex­cus­able be­hav­ior. This type of be­hav­ior will not be tol­er­ated for any ath­letic team or stu­dent group within Queen Anne’s County Pub­lic Schools,” Schre­con­gost wrote in a let­ter to fam­i­lies.

One or more cell phone videos of the in­ci­dent were cir­cu­lated on var­i­ous so­cial me­dia plat­forms. In the video, a group of boys are

“The be­hav­ior on the video, which was wit­nessed by thou­sands of peo­ple via so­cial me­dia and the news me­dia, is not con­doned and will not be ig­nored.” Dr. An­drea Kane Queen Anne’s Su­per­in­ten­dent of Schools

shown pin­ning down and hold­ing an­other boy while other boys rub their pri­vate parts in his face.

“This type of be­hav­ior will not be tol­er­ated for any ath­letic team or stu­dent group within Queen Anne’s County Pub­lic Schools. The be­hav­ior on the video, which was wit­nessed by thou­sands of peo­ple via so­cial me­dia and the news me­dia, is not con­doned and will not be ig­nored,” said Dr. An­dea Kane, su­per­in­ten­dent of schools, in a state­ment.

The lacrosse sea­son was about half over with just five or six games re­main­ing. Fri­day evening the en­tire sched­ule had been deleted from the Dig­i­tal Sports web­site.

Schre­con­gost also ad­dressed stu­dents in his let­ter, “please be re­minded how im­por­tant it is to ad­here to ap­pro­pri­ate so­cial me­dia con­duct.”

He asked par­ents to con­tinue to re­view proper so­cial me­dia eti­quette with their teens.

The per­cep­tion of some has been the in­ci­dent was staged for video with the in­tent to hu­mil­i­ate the vic­tim, while oth­ers con­tend the video was taken as proof of the bad acts hap­pen­ing, and yet oth­ers say school of­fi­cials seem more up­set that the in­ci­dent was videoed — and hence peo­ple found out about it — than in the in­ci­dent it­self.

Par­ents are fu­ri­ous school of­fi­cials didn’t re­port the in­ci­dent to po­lice when it hap­pened. In­stead, Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff Gary Hof­mann learned of it Sun­day af­ter­noon, April 15, after be­ing con­tacted by a pri­vate cit­i­zen who had seen the video.

“The crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­gan im­me­di­ately upon us re­ceiv­ing the video and is on­go­ing by my of­fice’s Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion sec­tion and the School Re­source Unit,” Hof­mann said.

Both Hof­mann and State’s At­tor­ney Lance Richard­son have stressed much of the in­for­ma­tion about the case will re­main con­fi­den­tial be­cause it in­volves ju­ve­niles.

“Many times a com­plex in­ves­ti­ga­tion in­cludes in­ter views of mul­ti­ple wit­nesses, per­sons of in­ter­est, sus­pects and col­lec­tion of ev­i­dence The time re­quired to be thor­ough with this process may at times give on­look­ers with lit­tle knowl­edge of the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem the im­pres­sion that no ac­tion is be­ing taken. There can be noth­ing fur­ther from the truth,” Hof­mann said in a post on the Sher­iff’s Of­fice Face­book page Fri­day.

Kane echoed Hof­mann and Richard­son on the con­fi­den­tial na­ture of ju­ve­nile mat­ters.

“It is im­por­tant for the pub­lic to know that mat­ters in­volv­ing spe­cific stu­dents are sub­ject to fed­eral pri­vacy laws (FERPA), there­fore de­tails of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion can­not be dis­closed. It is the goal of the school sys­tem to han­dle this mat­ter justly; with re­spect and com­pas­sion to­ward the vic­tim and with fair­ness to­ward all in­volved,” she said.

She added the safety and well­be­ing of all county pub­lic school stu­dents re­mains her pri­mary con­cern.

DR. AN­DREA KANE

JOHN SCHRE­CON­GOST

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