Five players of a girl's high school soccer team in Massachusetts have been suspended for hazing their younger teammates. In an odd twist, the players who were hazed, as well as their parents, are defending the suspended girls.
The players at Needham High School are accused of blindfolding younger teammates and dragging them along the field with dog leashes. They topped it all off by throwing pies in the girls' faces.
The girls were suspended, as was the coach for not reporting the incident immediately, the school told The Boston Globe.
Now, you'd think the girls who were hazed and their parents would be applauding the school's decision. Well, you'd be wrong.
Todd White, the father of one of the girls said it was more of a teambuilding exercise than hazing. And besides, he said, his daughter and the other girls were not hurt. "The consequences of the investigation were infinitely more harmful than anything that any of these kids went through," he told WHDH-TV. "[My daughter] loves these seniors, supports these seniors, and is mortified that in any way these seniors are harmed, their college careers are harmed."
"Our daughter is a responsible adult," Lisa and Craig Newfield, the parents of another player wrote in a court complaint trying to stop the school from suspending the students. "From her and her cohort we hear that the incident was misguided, but no real harm was done. Their sentiment, and ours, is: it happened, it’s over, let’s move on. Jessica was not hurt by the events, and continues to respect the seniors and feels like a respected member of the team."
But a judge ruled in favor of the school and allowed the suspensions. It's not clear how long they will last.
Massachusetts passed a law in 1985 requiring all high schools to enforce antihazing policies.