Alleged “Hazing” at Pottsville School Exposes Failed Leadership, Puts Students at Risk
The alleged “hazing” event that occurred on the campus of Pottsville Area High School some time in 2018 is disgusting.
But it’s disgusting on more levels than just the surface.
Yes, it’s appalling that two students could do this to another person, any person. But to do this to a challenged person? It’s foul.
Is This Hazing?
This is not hazing.
Hazing is done to initiate someone to a group. Things often go too far and people have died from hazing incidents.
This is not hazing. This is abuse. It’s the epitome of bullying. And it’s cruel.
And the fact that this story is only now made public? Even if this is only partly true, what took so long? What is the motivation to hide it?
Leadership and Accountability at Pottsville Area School District
So, let’s look at this incident through the lens it needs to be viewed.
Simply put, What the hell is happening at that school? Who is in charge?
We’ve been unable to confirm but at least one school administration official has been placed on administrative leave. This should only be the first of many people to leave that school district for good.
UPDATE: AD, Coaches Placed on Leave
In short, any member of the athletics or school staff with any knowledge or hint of knowledge of this incident should resign immediately.
This so-called hazing incident or incidents occurred during the 2018 high school football season, sometime between August and November of that year. It’s now late-February.
There were hints that something was awry only around the time of the Schuylkill League basketball playoffs. That’s when a member of Pottsville’s starting team went missing from the lineup. A source with knowledge of the situation says this is because of a 10-day suspension leveled against at least that student.
Does that mean at least one of these students involved in the “football” incident is a member of the basketball team, too? Why would they be allowed to continue playing football and even dream of putting on a basketball jersey?
And is a 10-day suspension a fitting punishment for a student accused of doing something this vile? And what of the timing of it? Does this suspension end just before the start of the District XI playoffs?
Who is making these decisions?
When anyone signs on to be a public employee, they take on a responsibility to protect students as if they’re their own children. This is especially true of school administration officials and school teachers. It’s a massive undertaking and yes, you can’t expect these people — our peers — to control everything.
But it’s their job and duty to say something when there’s even a hint of something this heinous occurring.
They failed when they absolutely could not.
The Win At All Costs Mentality
What this comes down to is as simple as it can get.
This is a case of so-called adults protecting children in order to win. Win? For who? For what?
As for the students involved in this alleged incident, if it’s proven true, they’ll have a hard time recovering. Scholarship opportunities, once a given, are likely gone.
Pottsville Area is enjoying a successful sports school year. The football team was better than average and the basketball team is one of the best in the area, if not the state. That will all be forgotten soon.
See, none of that truly matters in real life. Most people understand that. And that’s what these school officials forgot — or never knew.
This alleged incident and the cover-up that ensued only raises more questions:
- Is this the culture among Pottsville Area athletics?
- Just Pottsville?
- Is this an isolated “hazing” incident?
- And more importantly, is this the same respect any disabled student in the building gets?
We feel truly sorry that anyone endured what is alleged in Pottsville last fall. And we respect their privacy as they try to move past it.
And, for the students who are alleged to have done this act, we hope they’re sorry and remorseful, learn a great deal from it and find a way to be better in their lives.
As far as the fate of the school officials and self-described leaders who helped to keep this a secret for the sake of winning … truly pathetic.