The Los Angeles Unified School District athletics office distributed an e-mail Friday to its coaches, instructing them to counsel their athletes about hazing and warning that they could be held responsible for "negative consequences."
There have been two hazing incidents involving City Section football teams this season. On Aug. 27, four Granada Hills varsity players allegedly "manhandled and roughed up" a teammate in the locker room, according to Brian Bauer, the school's executive director. Pants were removed. Police and children's services officials were notified. No charges were filed, but three students were expelled and a fourth suspended.
Also in late August, five freshmen players from Huntington Park High allegedly punched another player, according to Coach Leroy Wilson. Each received a three-day suspension from school and lost their athletic privileges for one year. These incidents come in the wake of another hazing incident last school year in which Woodland Hills Taft volleyball players were disciplined and school staff were briefly reassigned.
Today's memo stated, "Hazing in all forms is not to be taken lightly. Recent history has shown that hazing can constitute a criminal act. In some cases, hazing may also include other acts, such as physical assault or battery, sexual assault or battery, or sexual harassment, which could lead to criminal consequences and student discipline.