The disturbing incident in Tennessee that led to rape charges for three teenage basketball players has inspired the victim to seek another educational home while alumni of the school have joined together to demand an external investigation to ensure that similar incidents never occur in the future.
As reported by the Chattanooga Times Free Press, a group of 120-odd Ooltewah High School graduates have come together to ask the Hamilton County School District to appoint an outside investigator or auditor to look into the hazing allegations, both to ensure a renewed sense of safety for the student body and to ensure that similar incidents never happen again thanks to more complete knowledge about the incident that did take place.
At least one school board member is on the alumni’s side.
“Someone from the outside needs to look at this,” Hamilton County School Board member Rhonda Thurman told the Times Free Press. “We can’t investigate ourselves. … “I’m just so heartbroken over this,” she said. “This has taken place in my hometown and under my watch on the school board.
“The message we’ve sent now is you can do anything you want and get away with it. We had a young man almost die at the hands of his teammates and that seems pretty serious to me. It makes you think, what does a team have to do to get their season cancelled?”
Now we know that the answer to that question includes a hazing incident that leads to rape charges. What we don’t know is where the victim will attend school next. Tennessee NBC affiliate WRCB reported that the victim will not return to Ooltewah after he recovers from his injuries, meaning that at least four members of the basketball team will no longer be on campus at all. With reports now emerging that three other teens were allegedly injured in the same hazing incident, that number may grow before the program potentially returns in fall 2016.