By Jim Melwert
TREDYFFRIN Twp., Pa. (CBS) — District Attorney Tom Hogan calls this a simple case of ignorance, violence and what he calls a shocking lack of supervision.
It involves players of Conestoga High School’s varsity football team, and a hazing tradition, for lack of a better term, that was known as “no-gay Thursday.”
“No gay Thursday,” according to Hogan, meant things that would normally be considered gay, were not gay when done by upperclassmen to underclassmen in the locker-room.
Examples include a senior walking up behind a underclassman and putting his genitals on the younger player’s head; a freshman being forced to undress an upperclassman, or underclassmen being forced to strip to their underwear and clean the locker-room.
It was that last one, that sparked this incident, according to investigators.
The DA says the very talented, but cocky freshman player decided he’d had enough and tried to leave the locker-room, two seniors held him down, while another grabbed a broomstick and began poking at his groin, eventually DA Hogan says, penetrating the boy’s rectum.
The 14-year-old boy told his father last month. The father went to the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District.
The school district immediately alerted police and the DA’s office.
The three aggressors were all 17 at the time. Charges against them include conspiracy to commit assault, possession of an instrument of crime, unlawful restraint, and terroristic threats.
Hogan says the hazing statute under Pennsylvania law only applies to colleges and not to high schools, he’s urging lawmakers to change that.
Hogan says Treddyfrin-Easttown School District now has a big job in front of them as they will have to tackle a culture of hazing.
Hogan also says, so far it appears no gay students were ever targeted during “no-gay Thursday.”
A statement from Tredyffrin-Easttown school district says they will conduct a thorough investigation, and the head football coach is suspended of coaching duties pending the outcome.