PITTSGROVE TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) – Four students are facing multiple charges in connection with alleged hazing incidents involving the Schalick High School wrestling team. According to the Salem County Prosecutor’s Office, the students allegedly stripped down a victim in a shower area of the school, restrained and threatened to assault the victim with a broomstick over the weekend.
“A lot of people are very anxious and on edge about it and it’s horrible. I know people who don’t want to be in our school anymore because of it,” said Reyleigh Schaller, a student at the school.
Because the suspects and victim are juveniles authorities are extra guarded in the release of information, though parents say a vague robocall went out this week acknowledging some kind of incident happened. School officials wouldn’t speak on camera, but Pittsgrove Township School District Superintendent Dr. Scott Hoopes did release this statement:
“Earlier this week, the District Administration became aware of certain events which apparently transpired in connection with the High School’s wrestling program. These events are the subject of an ongoing investigation by both the District and law enforcement officials.
Because of these pending investigations, and because the corrective actions which have been taken and are being considered involve students and staff, I am unable at this time to provide more details.
However, I do want to make it clear that the District has dealt with all of the current issues promptly and appropriately and that attendance at the High School and participation in sports and extracurricular activities present no special risk to any student.”
Senior Leon Jackson says he doesn’t have firsthand knowledge of the incident but he is a former member of the wrestling team.
“Was hazing a part of when you were on the team? Nah, it was never a part of it, nah. It was everyone wrestling having fun, there was none of that hazing mess going on, none of that,” said Jackson.
The suspects have been charged with aggravated assault, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, criminal restraint, hazing and other related charges.
Schalick high school’s wrestling team is scheduled to have their first match of the year in two days, no word if the criminal hazing investigation will impact their season.
Anyone who has any information with respect to this matter should contact the New Jersey State Police at 856-451-0101.