By Rosemary Boeglin
Update published Feb. 24, 2010
The Jan. 22 incident involving the men’s varsity basketball team may be more than an isolated occurrence, according to Principal John Williams. Williams made the announcement at a 10 a.m. press conference at Carmel High School on Feb. 24, which also included Superintendent Jeff Swensson and Carmel Police Department Chief Mike Fogarty.
“We are continuing to investigate not just the original incident, but other allegations,” Williams said. He said incidents beyond the initial information have been reported.
Due to the continued investigation, according to Swensson, disciplinary action for the students who perpetrated the incident is yet to be determined. Fogarty said it would not be possible to determine what charges are to be brought against the students before important steps in the investigation process, such as the interviewing of witnesses, has occurred. He also noted that specifics of the investigation would not be released by any certain date.
Swensson said although disciplinary measures within the high school are generally dealt with “in-building,” this situation warrants the involvement of the school board. He said the overall process indicates that the school system “clearly takes student safety and security seriously.” He said he could not comment regarding the continued enrollment of the students here, although he said that the expulsion process, if it were to be necessary, begins with a recommendation and then “the process does proceed in a logical, dedicated and specific manner.”
Swensson said counselors are being made available to students, and those counselors in the Freshman Center have been additionally prepared.
Williams said, “We have spent a significant time with counselors in order for them to be aware and in touch. We want to (ensure that students) know we really respect their right to a safe and orderly environment and that they can talk to an adult when these things come up.”
Williams said he was upset about the situation. “I feel saddened and disappointed (about the incident). All students should feel safe and protected and it is our responsibility to do everything within our power to ensure that safety,” Williams said.
Swensson said that despite the attention brought on by the incident and the subsequent investigation, the perpetrators of the incident would still have their rights considered. “Students subject to investigation are still students and should still receive their rights and the right to privacy,” he said. “We are obligated to follow the law, and we do.”
Swensson added that gossip surrounding the incident is less than reliable. “I know the rumor mill is very busy and much of it is inaccurate. It is difficult to hear some of the rumors because they are completely fabricated,” he said.
Although allegations of sexual assault are yet to be confirmed, Fogarty said that criminal confinement, battery and criminal deviate conduct are among the potential charges he said could be brought against the students.
Editor’s note: This story will be updated as new information becomes available.
UPDATE: Administration working with Carmel police to investigate incident involving basketball team
By Michelle Hu
Update published Feb. 23, 2010
In the past few days, the investigation into the senior basketball players’ actions against two freshmen has been handed over to the Carmel Police Department, with the school’s administration in full cooperation, according to Principal John Williams.
The event occurred on the way back from a basketball game in Terre Haute, with varsity and freshman teams on the same bus and the JV team farther ahead on its own bus. Though there were witnesses to the event, according to Williams, none of the basketball players brought up concerns to the administration. Instead, Williams said it was the mother of a Carmel High School student who heard of the incident and had no connection to the team.”The minute we heard about it, we contacted the police,” Williams said. “Within five hours of our first hearing about it, we had, I felt, certainly gotten to the bottom of that certain incident and acted appropriately.”
Though Williams said he could not comment on the nature of the event or consequences the three seniors received, he said he is perfectly comfortable with the way the administration has dealt with the situation. He also said the administration is in no way protecting the three seniors but cannot comment for legal reasons since the investigation involves students, regardless of their ages.
Media release issued by Carmel Clay Schools
Published Feb. 19, 2010
On Tuesday February 15th Carmel High School administration was made aware of a rumor of bullying involving student athletes who are members of our boys’ basketball team. The alleged incident occurred on the team bus ride home from an away game on January 22nd. Carmel High School administration investigated this by interviewing the students involved, witnesses, and coaches. Parents of these students were contacted and informed throughout this process. Appropriate, consistent, and immediate discipline was administered to those who participated. In addition the entire basketball team has been addressed by the Carmel High School administration. Carmel High School administration also contacted the Carmel Police Department informing them of the incident. Carmel Clay Schools will continue to provide a safe environment for students and take appropriate measures to ensure student safety.
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