Police are investigating allegations of a serious hazing incident involving members of the junior varsity football team at Damascus (Md.) High School, authorities say.
As the Washington Post reports, investigators are looking into allegations of physical and sexual assault of juvenile students at the school, Montgomery County Police Sgt. Rebecca Innocenti told the Post and other outlets.
Per the Post, Damascus High principal Casey Crouse said in a letter to families that school administrators learned of the allegations Thursday and that the school has forfeited its junior varsity football game vs. Sherwood High School (Sandy Spring, Md.) that was scheduled for Thursday.
The Post reports that school officials say the allegations do not appear to involve the varsity players.
The varsity team at Damascus has won state championships in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and is working on the nation’s longest current winning streak at 51 games.
School system spokesman Derek Turner told the Post that the incident allegedly involved some JV players attacking other JV players and that it happened Wednesday in a locker room.
The letter from Crouse to parents reads as follows, per WJLA.
Dear Parents and Guardians:
I am writing to inform you of serious allegations involving our students and how they are being addressed. Today, my administration was informed of allegations of hazing by members of the junior varsity football team against their fellow team members. These allegations are being investigated by the Montgomery County Police Department. At this time, the allegations are unrelated to the varsity football team.
The alleged behavior is upsetting and unacceptable and will not be tolerated at Damascus HS. In response to these allegations, we have forfeited today’s junior varsity football game. Any student who is found to have hazed another student will be disciplined in accordance with the MCPS Student Code of Conduct and may also face legal consequences.
Damascus High School is committed to the safety of all students. While this is an ongoing investigation, I cannot provide any additional information about this matter at this time.
Thank you for your continued support for our school and students.