Nine students are accused of sexual assault in hazing scandal involving the La Vernia High School athletics program.
The accusations against students from the Texas school date back to 2014, according to MySanAntonio.com.
Details were just starting to unfold on March 28 as news of the allegations broke. The Dallas Morning News reports that the allegations have rocked La Vernia, a “farming town of about 1,000 residents about 20 miles east of San Antonio.”
Here’s what you need to know
1. A Victim’s Mother Says Youths Were Sodomized With Everything From Bottles to Baseball Bats
One victim’s mother graphically described the allegations, saying they included sodomy.
“Kids were holding them down in the locker rooms, there was a lookout at the door watching for coaches not to come. They hold them down and stick various items up their rectum… including coke bottles, deodorant bottles, steel pipes, baseball bats and broom sticks,” she said, according to News 4 San Antonio.
2. Police Arrested 7 Juvenile & 2 Adult Students
According to MySanAntonio.com, police arrested the two adults on March 27 and seven juvenile students the previous week.
They turned the juveniles over to their parents and booked the adults into the jail, said the newspaper, which added that more arrests might occur, including involving recent graduates of the high school.
Fox San Antonio reported that students were led out of the high school in handcuffs.
The names and mugshots of the suspects have not yet been released. This article will be updated when they are.
3. The Accusations Mostly Involve the Football Team but Other Student Athletes Are Also Accused
It’s not only high school students who are accused; authorities allege that some of the hazing incidents occurred in middle school, according to Fox San Antonio.
The Dallas Morning News reported that, according to police, the allegations mostly involve the football team but the basketball and baseball teams are involved to a lesser degree.
A police news release said authorities “received an outcry of hazing involving high school student-athletes,” KSAT-TV reported.
The release added: “We made contact with several students who gave forensic interviews with the Children’s Alliance of South Texas. The results of the interviews confirmed evidence a crime had been committed.”
Fox4San Antonio reported that there are at least 10 victims and all are male.
4. The Superintendent Said the District Took ‘Immediate’ Action
In a statement released to Fox San Antonio, the superintendent of schools said the school took immediate action, but there was a limit to the details that could be released because of student confidentiality rules.
“As you know, La Vernia ISD has been faced with a very difficult situation involving allegations made against and the arrests of a number of students at the District. It has been very challenging to balance and respect the rights of all involved, but that is what the District is tasked with doing,” he said in part.
“I want to make sure everyone knows that as soon as the District was informed of the arrests, our campus administrators took immediate and appropriate action; however, because of federal law protecting the confidentiality of student information, I cannot tell you what disciplinary actions have been or will be taken.”
The superintendent also released a detailed statement on Facebook that you can read above.
5. Community Members Are Outraged
The mother of a victim wrote on Facebook, “My son would have been a senior at La Vernia High School this year. He was assaulted by his class mates while attending La Vernia Junior High School. I am feeling really blessed that we pulled him out of the La Vernia school system after the assault.”
One woman wrote on Facebook, “Hard to be proud of this community when my 16 year old is crying because he doesn’t understand how his friend could assault his other friends in such a disgusting way. For the first time ever I’m ashamed to claim LV as my hometown.”
Another woman wrote, “It’s left a lot of other kids that were not victims or abusers with so many questions. My son had friends on both sides of this and he can not wrap his mind around what has happened. Trying to answer all the questions when I have so many questions.”