School officials at Auburn Mountainview High School (AMHS) are investigating a hazing incident involving members of the football team.
In an email to families dated Oct. 26, 2023, Principal Terri Herren said that the school was informed of the hazing activities on Thursday, Oct. 19. Herren said that the school took swift action, suspending multiple players from school and from football for the remainder of the season.
Herren added that the Auburn Police Department is also investigating the incident.
In a separate email to football parents on Oct. 23, Herren, Athletic Director Chris Carr, and Head Football Coach Kent Rodseth said that the school is committed to thoroughly investigating the incident and that they welcome any information or input from the players involved.
The school has also implemented additional measures to ensure the safety and well-being of its athletes, including requiring coaches to be present in the locker room at all times and requiring all athletes in the football program to complete a Leadership and a Bullying, Harassment, and Hazing program with NFHS.
There are several victims and the district will be providing a variety of supports to them.
This is an ongoing investigation.
In response to the incident, multiple players have been suspended from school and football for the remainder of the football season, and the final game has been canceled.
“Hazing behavior will not be tolerated and we are reviewing our procedures to prevent future incidents,” the district said. “Student safety is our highest priority.”
Below is text from messages sent out regarding this incident:
Message sent to AMHS families on Oct. 26:
“Dear AMHS Families:
“I want to make sure families have accurate information about the hazing that occurred in the football program.
“Last Thursday, we were informed of hazing activities among our football players in the locker rooms. As soon as we were made aware of the situation, we began an investigation.
“In response to the incident, we took swift action by suspending multiple players from school and from football for the remainder of the season. We have spent this week thoroughly investigating this matter and the investigation is ongoing. We welcome information to an administrator or via the Safe Schools tip line. The Auburn Police Department also is investigating.
“We take this issue very seriously and are deeply concerned about the impacted students. Identified students who have been impacted will be offered a variety of supports.
“As you can imagine, many students have been talking about this situation. Yesterday, teachers read this statement to students during 6th period:
“We would like to address the importance of refraining from discussing the harassment and hazing incidents that occurred in the football locker room. Creating a safe and supportive learning environment is our top priority. By avoiding discussions about harassment and hazing, we can ensure that all students feel respected and comfortable in the classroom. It is essential to be mindful of the potential impact our words can have on others. Talking about such sensitive topics can potentially trigger negative emotions and memories for individuals who have had past traumatic experiences.
“If you or someone you know has been affected by these incidents or needs support, we encourage you to reach out to a trusted adult, such as a teacher, counselor, or administrator. They are here to provide guidance and assistance during difficult times.
“Let us work together to foster empathy, understanding, and a positive atmosphere where everyone can focus on their education and personal growth.”We greatly appreciate your support during this challenging time and want to assure you we are fully committed to completing this investigation, holding those responsible accountable and supporting those who have been impacted. We will continue to improve our systems to make sure our student athletes have a safe and positive experience.
“Due to the lack of eligible athletes, the last game of the season has been canceled.
“We remain dedicated to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all of our students.
Message sent to football families on Oct. 23:
“We hope this message finds you well. We wanted to inform you about a recent incident that came to our attention on Thursday evening regarding hazing among our JV football players in the JV locker room. As soon as we were made aware of the situation, we initiated an immediate investigation.
“In response to the incident, we have taken swift action by suspending multiple players from school and from football for the remainder of the football season. We want to assure you that we are committed to thoroughly investigating this matter and we welcome any information or input from the players involved.
“We take this issue very seriously and are deeply concerned that it was not reported earlier. Moving forward, we have implemented additional measures to ensure the safety and well-being of our athletes. Coaches will regularly be in the locker room while athletes are changing, before and after practice. No athletes will be allowed in a locker room unless there is a coach present.
“We greatly appreciate your support during this challenging time, and we want to assure you that we are fully committed to completing this investigation. As part of our efforts to prevent such incidents in the future, all athletes in the AMHS football program will be required to complete a Leadership and a Bullying, Harassment, and Hazing program with NFHS to finish in good standing and to participate in future sports programs at AMHS.
“Thank you for your understanding and cooperation. We remain dedicated to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all our athletes.
Principal – Terri Herren
Athletic Director – Chris Carr
Head Football Coach – Kent Rodseth”