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A lot of people have been buzzing about this headline out of Worcester Tech High School today:
Here’s what’s been reported: The Worcester Technical High School varsity and junior varsity football teams have been suspended for the remainder of the season as school officials investigate what has only been described as an alleged “student-athlete safety incident.” Robert Pezzella, the Worcester Public Schools’ safety director, confirmed the suspension in an interview Thursday. Pezzella would only say there were complaints of a student-athlete safety incident. School officials, including the superintendent, believed it was “in the best interest of the school” to suspend the teams, he said.Parents of players will be attending a meeting Thursday, he said. The schedule for Worcester Technical High School indicates the varsity football team was going to play David Prouty High School on Friday.
So the entire team’s football season is cancelled two games early because of…..something. Some people messaged us and said it had something to do with a video and hazing. So unlike Masslive and the Turtlegram which depend on whatever information the tight lipped school department gives them, we went and found out what really happened by doing something crazy – talking to kids who go to Worcester Tech. Here’s what they tell us:
- In September a freshman kid on the JV team was supposedly hazed by 2 varsity kids, and there was a video recording of whatever occurred.
- The kid no longer goes to Worcester Tech and transferred to Doherty at the beginning of the year, not because of the hazing but because he didn’t like the shop part of the school (which is the whole point of attending a vocational school).
- Someone at Doherty reported the video to one of the administrators who contacted the Worcester Tech principal and told him about it.
- The video allegedly shows two varsity kids trying to take game pants away from the freshman, and they made “aggressive gestures” in a joking manner, but were not trying to hurt the kid.
- The kid was holding the game pants, not wearing them, so it’s not like they were exposing him against his will.
- Students are being called down to the office and questioned one by one about the locker room culture and being asked if they know about any other incidents. Several students have been suspended for unknown reasons to our sources (who are on the football team and have not been suspended, nor questioned, but anticipate they may be).
- Kids are being suspended based entirely on allegations from the student who now goes to Doherty High School, not based off of anything that was seen on tape (cough, cough, Kavanaugh effect, cough, cough).
- The police are involved and potentially charges could be filed.
- The vast majority of kids on the team never took part in any hazing, and the seniors in particular are devastated that they will miss the final games of their high school career, despite doing nothing wrong.
I gotta be consistent on this one. Last week we called out Billerica High School and said they should cancel their cheerleading season because of the actions of what we thought at the time were BMHS cheerleaders bullying a girl in the locker room.
But there’s a huge difference between these two scenarios. The Billerica girls all either actively participated in that assault, or encouraged it by laughing and recording the victim. If those girls were all on the same team it would indicate an institutional problem with the team that warranted shutting them down for the season.
This is not the same situation. Most of the kids on the team did nothing wrong. And the fact that kids who did nothing wrong are being blamed for the actions of others is complete and utter bullshit. It’s un-American, and they’re doing it because the team is 1-8. If this was Doherty High School, which up until last week was undefeated and the top ranked team in Central Mass, you can guarantee their season would not be cancelled. I fundamentally reject the idea that innocent people should be punished because of the actions of others. If you recall, this happened in Lunenburg five years ago, and the whole thing turned out to be a lie. Kids don’t get this time in their lives back.
If what they’re saying is accurate, then this is the worst case of pussification of America I’ve ever seen. Oh no, a kid got teased by upperclassmen!! How will he ever survive?
With that said, I haven’t seen the video, and I find it hard to believe that all these kids are getting suspended for what is described to us as a relatively harmless video. Especially since the cops are involved. I have a much harder time believing that the police are wasting their time investigating a non-issue, so maybe our source is just an innocent kid who’s not aware of the whole story.
Either way, unless some unspeakable act occurred and every kid on the team knew about, it’s complete crap to take away football from the entire team. Official ruling – free muh bois.