A high school swimmer’s participation in a meet despite an earlier suspension over “substantiated cases of harassment” has caused an uproar in Indiana’s swimming community.
The IndyStar reports that the student — who was not identified because he has not been charged with a crime — participated in sectionals at Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers, Ind., over the weekend while about 25 people stood outside in silent protest.
The male Fishers High School student is one of the top swimmers in the state, but was suspended from the team earlier this year over his behavior toward female swimmers. Documents obtained by IndyStar described allegations based on text message communications the accused swimmer allegedly sent to a female student. In all, 12 female students were interviewed during the course of the school’s investigation, though the accused swimmer is reported to have only had “direct contact” with three of them.
According to Indiana High School Athletic Association commissioner Bobby Cox, school administrators appealed to allow the accused male swimmer back on the team. His suspension prevented the swimmer from participating in the minimum amount of events required to enter state tournaments.
“Once the girls season was coming to a close, they decided to lift the suspension and asked us to waive the [participation] rule,” Cox told IndyStar.
Specific details of the harassment allegations remain unclear, as do details of what, if any additional disciplinary action the school took against the alleged harasser. It’s also unclear why the district appealed on the student’s behalf.
Local police have opened a harassment case against the student, but the investigation has not yet been started.