Five high school football players in New Mexico are seeking to prevent their school from suspending them while an investigation is conducted into allegations of hazing within the program.
Parents of the four Pojoaque Valley High School football players filed for a temporary restraining orders to prevent the school from enforcing the suspensions. The parents are arguing that the players’ right to due process has been violated. One player filed for an order on his own behalf.
The requests for restraining orders came a day after the district announced an investigation into hazing allegations received last weekend through an anonymous tip line. The allegations were relayed to the sheriff’s office.
Juan Ríos, a spokesman for the sheriff’s department, confirmed an investigation into the matter, noting that no charges are arrests have been made.
According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, the requests for restraining orders named the The named the district, the high school and several Pojoaque Valley High School administrators as defendants.
Jerry Archuleta, the attorney for all five plaintiffs, said all of the players involved are seniors who claimed they had not participated in the hazing. He said there were two other players who did not file orders.
“They said they’ve heard of something that happened, but they didn’t witness it,” Archuleta said. “I don’t want to get into any hearsay. I’m just trying to protect my clients.”
Archuleta said the suspensions started during homecoming week and will take away an important event in the players’ lives.
“We’re just asking to let them participating in homecoming,” Archuleta said. “If the sheriff’s office finds any culpability in anybody, the school can do what it wants to do after it does a complete investigation. But they’re putting the cart ahead of the horse if you punish these children. That’s not something that can be made up.”