CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) - An I-Team tip has lead to the revelation thatthree Carmel High School senior basketball players have beendisciplined for bullying two freshmen team members.
According to students at the school, the three seniors weresuspended for five days.
24-Hour News 8 has learned the incident took place on a busfollowing a game in Terre Haute on January 22. The older playersallegedly called the freshman players to the back of the bus. Fourcoaches were on the bus at the time.
Principal John Williams tells 24-Hour News 8 he received a tipfrom a parent last week. The parent’s child had heard otherstudents at the high school talking about the incident.
“We immediately starting investigating talking towitnesses, student athletes involved, coaches, and parents ofstudent athletes” said Williams.
Williams feels satisfied that the situation was handledproperly. He says privacy laws prohibit him from discussing whathappened or the punishments he handed out. A check of the schooldistrict's policy on bullying found students can be suspended orexpelled for bullying.
The disciplined players are said to be some of theschool’s top athletes.
Principal John Williams released the following statement:
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.
News of the incident spread quickly inside and outside theschool. Two recent graduates of the high school said they wereaware of the bullying.
“I was a little shocked honestly there was not a lot goingon bullying when we were there. I was honestly reallysurprised,” said Sonaal Joshi.
“I’d definitely say it’s unfortunate for thekids who got picked on it’s not fun to be there” saidCurtis Weeks.
The school released a written statement from head basketballcoach Mark Galloway. In the statement, Galloway says, “Wetalk about adversity throughout the season and this is a challenge.This is an opportunity for some kids and we have to keep our teamgoals in front of us.”
Carmel Police were notified, but no report was taken. Theprincipal says the bullying did not rise to the level of a criminaloffense.
24-Hour News 8's I-Team has done extensive reporting on thetopic of bullying and, more specifically, cyberbullying.
Check out the latest I-Team story regarding cyberbullying inwhich a father is threatening to sue the state after his daughtercommitted suicide. The story also includes links to past I-Teamcoverage of the topic.
Friday at 5:30, I-Team 8 looks back at the investigation thatprompted Indiana’s first bully law.
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