The incidents involving the football team at Middletown Area High School were reported to parents in a letter from the school district’s superintendent this month.
“Unfortunately, this video demonstrates that this hazing was much more widespread, and involved many more students, than we had previously known,” Hunter’s Wednesday letter reads.
“The kind of hazing that occurred in our facilities with this team is reprehensible. It simply cannot and will not be tolerated,” Hunter wrote. “We know we must work to address the culture of this team, educate our student body about hazing, and put programs in place to help us ensure that this kind of atmosphere is never allowed to exist in our school facilities.”
Hazing allegations investigated in 2 other high school football programs
The Middletown Area School District isn’t the only Pennsylvania district dealing with reports of hazing.
District officials were notified about the allegations Saturday, according to the letter from Craig Stage, superintendent of the Athens Area School District, and John Sullivan, the director of athletics. The district serves schools in a rural area near the New York state line.
“The incidents that are being investigated occurred over a series of dates leading back to a mid-July football camp at Bloomsburg University and up to pre-season practices that took place in our school facilities,” the letter reads.
“The district does not condone hazing or other actions that cause harm to fellow teammates and student-athletes,” the letter reads.
Pennsylvania State Police were notified about the allegations in accordance with district policy, according to the letter.
In an email to CNN, state police said they were “assisting Bloomsburg University with the investigation,” but directed CNN to local agencies for more information.
CNN has reached out to Bloomsburg University police and police in the borough of Athens, roughly an 80-mile drive northwest of Scranton.
The district intends to hold those responsible for the hazing incidents accountable and plans to address the football program’s culture by requiring “intensive and immediate training of coaching staff and students,” the district’s letter reads.
But it does not plan to cancel the high school’s football season, according to the letter.
“We will not be canceling any football games,” the letter reads.
“On Tuesday, the district told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 that it’s working with police while school administration conducts its own investigation,” WTAE reported.
The high school is near the borough of Bessemer close to the Ohio state line, and roughly a 55-mile drive northwest of Pittsburgh. CNN has reached out to the Mohawk Area School District for more information.
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