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Falcon High School football coaches placed on leave amid hazing investigation

Falcon High School Football / File

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- After KRDO reported that the El Paso County Sheriff's Office is investigating sexual misconduct among players on the Falcon High School football team, we're now learning that District 49 has placed the football team coaches on administrative leave due to their knowledge of the incident.

Few details about the incident have been released, but the sheriff's office confirmed the investigation could be criminal in nature. District 49 has said the incident constitutes hazing and harassment.

"Through the course of an investigation with FHS and district administrators in collaboration with our law enforcement partners at the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, we have learned that adults, including multiple coaches and multiple parents knew of hazing and harassment activities within the FHS football team that later escalated into the claims that are under investigation by local law enforcement," Falcon HS Principal Darryl Bonds said in a statement Wednesday.

Bonds also said that the hazing included "teammates from multiple grade levels" who observed and participated. Bonds added that at least one student recorded the incident.

Bonds added that there have been reports of "threats and harassment directed against the students who made the initial report."

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office told us on Tuesday that the case had been under investigation for a little over a day, however, emails obtained by KRDO show that district officials knew about the reported incident last week.

Bonds didn't specify which coaches were aware of the incident and placed on leave.

The Falcon High School principal pointed out that the hazing incident "has affected students program-wide and even extended into the larger community, which is why our response must be strong and decisive."

"Coaches, parents, and students have told us they did not report what they knew because it might negatively affect their playing status or the team’s season. That is unacceptable. The silence created the conditions that prolonged the harassment and hazing of smaller and younger students. We consider this misconduct to be a violation of our cultural compass as well as CHSAA standards and our district code of conduct," Bonds said.

The football team's activities have been suspended, and any games taking place while the suspension is in place will be forfeited.

We reached out to Falcon High School Football coach Darrel Gorham and District 49's Athletic Director Chad Belveal on Tuesday but didn't get a response.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

Andrew McMillan

Andrew is the Digital Content Director for KRDO.com. Learn more about Andrew here.

Comments

8 Comments

  1. You got to be kidding me….we only been hazing freshman or whatever for the last 1000 years…why is everyone getting upset on hazing…that American tradition

    1. 1000 years ago Native Americans were the only people living in America. Get a clue. And 200 years ago slavery was legal in America. Child abuse was no big deal. Men could beat their wives with no recourse. Yeah, the good old days.

  2. If kids don’t learn this unfortunate skillset in school how will they learn how to cope with it when they enter into the workplace working for employers that hold your “at-will employment” as a weapon to be brandished only when they deem necessary to remove you from employment with no actual just cause.

    1. I am saying that Hazing and other akin criminal charges would have to be already enforced in the workplace and common society before we look at the children getting the message first. Having the ability to deal with conflict and confrontations is a skillset that is learned on the playgrounds. If children are not taught proper coping mechanisms to adversity in school then it will fall on them to learn it in the workplace. Look at the zero tolerance policies that came out after the Columbine shooting, it left those children with zero skills in dealing with adversity, and was exacerbated by continuous online lifestyles. The post Columbine shooting changes left our children with no person-to-person skillsets, devoid of human-to-human interaction, and hyper-saturated the community with a generation of children that expected the same ideologies that existed within the schools to also exist within the workplace. Clearly that was a failure because most are unwilling to simply work and do their expected job duties. In an “At-Will” Employment state, employers no longer look at their employees as their most valuable @sset in their company, moreover they just view workers replaceable parts should one go down or become defective. If this is the bar we are setting for workers, then why would we establish a bar that far exceeds this threshold for our children, but sets them up for failure in the workplace because it does not exist in the workplace.

      1. School is a reflection of life, in a small glimpse. School teaches us that some people one comes across may just be an unbearable, insufferable person devoid of any redeeming qualities. School also teaches us how to avoid those people and identify them when their actions are observed. Better to learn it in school than in the game of life working for Corporate America, mainly because Corporate America simply does not care about anyone but himself or herself.

        1. I do not approve of hazing, but congruently I do believe they do play an integral part in our lives. We all remember our bullies that shaped and changed us from acting like them in the future. Now imagine how these post-Columbine shooting children look at life without having bullies in their life. They had Helicopter parents and were treated as bubble-wrap children, and were given no life skills to deal with this problem that they believed only existed within the schools, but not the workplace. Then once they enter the workplace they are confused about the lack of congruency with what they were taught in school, and as most would have believed that similar system would exist also in the workforce. Unfortunately it doesn’t, and they struggle because of what they were taught life would be like.

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