Six Ohio high school wrestlers are facing possible charges after assaulting their 12-year-old teammate, and the coach who was present during the incident could be charged with child endangerment.
According to The Courier, seven children were identified as either being directly involved in or as witnesses in the incident, which allegedly took place Feb. 5 at Vinton County High School.
The incident took place inside the school, with several wrestlers picking on the student. The coach was in the room at the time, and the entire scene was recorded on school cameras and later reviewed by law enforcement.
The sheriff’s department referred the family of the victim to a local hospital but the victim appeared to be uninjured.
The “assistant coach,” as he was listed on the police report, was in fact not a school board approved coach or volunteer. He was not named, but told police that he didn’t think anything of the incident. Head coach Marcus Games was not present during the incident.
Superintendent Rick Brooks denied the incident was related to hazing of any kind and said the school immediately began an investigation into the matter.
“Once the investigation was concluded, appropriate discipline was issued to all students who were determined to have engaged in misconduct,” Brooks stated in a news release provided to The Courier.
Vinton County High School released the following statement on the incident:
Response to Inquiries Regarding Incident Involving Students:
In response to media inquires regarding an incident at Vinton County High School involving students the week of Feb. 5, 2019, this statement is issued.
School districts generally are not permitted by federal or state law to release any personally identifiable student information and thus cannon comment on student incidents, investigations, or discipline (20 U.S.C. Section 1232g; O.R.C. Section 3319.321)
The Vinton County Local Schools and its administrators take all incidents that involve students very seriously, and we investigate those incidents fully. Once the facts are determined, discipline appropriate to the offense us issued as warranted. Discipline may include suspension and expulsion from school, suspension from extracurricular activities, and suspension from school transportation.
In this case, the incident was immediately reported to Children’s Services and law enforcement. The district conducted its own investigation right away. Once the investigation was concluded, appropriate discipline was issued to all students who were determined to have engaged in misconduct.
‘All students need a safe learning environment, and safety of students is of utmost priority for our school district and its administrators,’ stated Supt. Rick Brooks.”