High school officials in Tewksbury, Mass., used a committee meeting last week to publicly address an incident in which members of the school’s varsity hockey team reportedly created a list of “offensive and harassing” comments about the Lowell Catholic High School team.
As reported by The Sun of Lowell, Tewksbury Memorial High School principal Andy Long and athletic director Ron Drouin addressed the community with a prepared statement about the March 2 incident that preceded that day’s playoff matchup between the Tewksbury and Loweell Catholic.
“I would like to express regret and disappointment regarding the incident that came to light on March 2, 2023, involving the boy’s varsity hockey team, in particular the creation and sharing of a list that contained offensive and harassing comments about Lowell Catholic hockey players, their families and other members of the Lowell Catholic community,” Long said while reading the statement aloud.
Long went on to say that the School Department and Drouin immediately investigated the situation in consultation with Tewksbury superintendent Brenda Theriault-Regan and Tewksbury Police, and the school took disciplinary action against any of the players they knew had participated in the creation of the list.
“In addition, the team was also addressed prior to the start of the game by the athletic director and the head hockey coach to ensure that there was no taunting behavior before, during or after the game,” Long said, as reported by The Sun.
“The team has been asked to think about how they would work to repair the harm caused by the incident to the individuals and to the greater Lowell Catholic community. In addition to re-educating the team regarding sexual harassment training, cyber-bullying prevention and the role of a bystander, any findings from the investigation will result in disciplinary action for students who have violated the school’s code of conduct, in line with our student handbook and Mass. General Law.
“Our coaches, school and community do not condone this type of behavior. Harassment has no place in our schools, and certainly not in athletics.”
Drouin then reiterated that there is “no tolerance” for the type of behavior in question in their athletic program.
“My apologies go out to Lowell Catholic," he said. "I have been in contact with their athletic director numerous times. I have spoken to Mrs. Regan far too many times this weekend. We will get this right. We will make this right. We will grow as an athletic department. We already have stuff in place to make us better. We want to be on the front page of the news for the right reasons, and not the wrong reasons. We have to do better and we are committed to doing better.”
Theriault-Regan praised the dedication of Long and Drouin in working with Lowell Catholic officials in this situation, according to Peter Currier of The Sun..
“The Massachusetts Secondary Schools Athletic Directors Association, their executive board selected Ron Drouin as the District 4 Athletic Director of the Year for a reason,” said Theriault-Regan. “They quote that ‘he has displayed outstanding leadership and meritorious achievement in inter-scholastic administration at the local, district and state level.’
“I can assure you that Mr. Drouin is doing a lot of work helping not only our students but other coaches and students at the state level,."
“Myself and [Lowell Catholic head of school Maryellen DeMarco] have been involved in talks with the administration of TMHS and have so far been satisfied with how seriously they have taken this matter,” Lowell Catholic High School athletic director Cameron Connors said in an emailed statement. “We know they are still conducting an investigation and appreciate that they are going to the lengths they are to get to the bottom of this. We have confidence in their process and look forward to working together to repair any strain in the relationship between our schools.”
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association did not respond to a request by The Sun for comment on the matter.
The Tewksbury team, the top seed in the playoffs, defeated the Lowell Catholic team in their March 2 matchup with a final score of 2-1, but were then eliminated from the playoffs by the Norwood High School team March 5 by a score of 5-2.