NEW MADISON — Tri-Village Board of Education’s President Tim Bevins issued the following statement after Thursday’s night special meeting to hear appeals by several students accused of hazing on the boys basketball team.
“On December 12, 2016, a parent reported an alleged incident of student misconduct to our high school principal. Principal Morris promptly investigated, and the investigation led to the imposition of student discipline to six students on December 15, 2016. The Board has since heard and affirmed four student suspension appeals.”
“The details of the administration’s investigation, the identities of the students involved, and the specific discipline imposed are confidential matters. I am mindful of the need to protect student privacy, and I urge you to respect the privacy of our district’s students and families.”
“The Darke County Sheriff’s Office is conducting its own investigation into these circumstances. On December 19, Chief Deputy Whittaker issued a news release that included the following language: “Preliminary information supports that misdemeanor hazing incidents have occurred among students on the Tri-Village High School basketball team. The evidence at this time indicates that school staff responded to the incidents as soon as it was reported to them. There is no evidence or information to substantiate allegations of sexual assault or felony conduct.” The Tri-Village administration has cooperated with the Sheriff’s investigation, and I expect it will continue to do so.”
“As the Board President and a long-time Tri-Village Board member, I have always believed that our students are among the best and most upstanding in the region and beyond. These circumstances have not swayed my belief. Young people make mistakes. It is up to us, as responsible adults, to hold them accountable for their conduct. But, it is also our responsibility to guide them, mentor them, and help to instill in them the values that will make them productive members of society. I assure you that the administrators, teachers, and coaches at Tri-Village do just that on a daily basis, and they will continue to do so. We are all committed to providing an excellent educational environment- one free of harassment.”