This is literally what it looks like when elected officials sweep something under the rug.
They’re hiding it in plain sight. That’s usually how it works, too.
For people who cried for days, “let the investigation play out” … this is what you get. It’s so played out.
Pottsville Area School District is actively trying to sweep the alleged “hazing” incident that happened in 2018 right under the rug.
The school announced on Wednesday that it’s completed the investigation into the incident. A week ago, the school district figured it would take a long time. After all, the football team has a lot of people on it. But not nearly as many as it used to, right?
Just a reminder: This is the incident in which at least two members of the Pottsville football team allegedly sexually assaulted a mentally challenged adult. READ THE ARTICLE HERE
You’re thinking … this doesn’t sound like hazing. You’re right. At the very least, if as described, it’s cruel bullying. At worst, sexual assault.
Pottsville “Hazing” Investigation Finished
Apparently, this is a crime in which a board of elected officials and a group of teachers are equipped to handle. At least, that’s what they want you to believe.
At a rug sweeping ceremony on Wednesday, the school’s Superintendent Jeff Zwiebel announced the school completed its investigation.
The result: On Monday, the students serving 10-day out-of-school suspensions for the incident will return to school. This includes all extra-curricular activities as well.
Zwiebel says the school won’t report what it believes happened in 2018. It won’t report on the discipline imposed (even though it has), or the students involved.
The suspensions the school imposed, however, will run their course. Is this an admission something definitely did happen?
Sounds like that to us.
This sounds like a story cooked up in the basement of the administration building. After all, the mother of the alleged victim has told the legacy media she wants to reach a solution that’s positive for the school district and her son.
But that somewhat understandable desire to protect her son doesn’t need to come at the expense of the public’s safety. These are serious allegations. This is something that can’t be handled in-house.
Behavior this deviant and insensitive doesn’t just go away. Certainly, it doesn’t go away after a 10-day school suspension.
It’s a joke with no punchline.
Pottsville Hazing Lingering Questions
The fact that this was allegedly a known incident prior to it leaking to the press and no adult said a word — that’s another matter but related.
Here are some questions to answer:
- What happened that warrants a 10-day suspension?
- Shouldn’t the public be made aware of the facts in an alleged case of sexual assault?
A 10-day suspension is the epitome of a slap on the wrist for something this vile, as it was alleged. How can any of these school board members and teachers allow these students back to the school so quickly?
If it wasn’t that, clearly it was something. Otherwise, why suspend them at all?
The “official” story that likely was arrived at after some intense coaching will not match the initial allegations. There’s no way they could. Because if the school’s “investigation” revealed them to be true, how can they allow them near the rest of the student body?
There’s a cover-up afoot. And this school is trying to get away with it.
Pottsville Hazing Official Statement
Pottsville’s school Superintendent Jeff Zwiebel presented this written statement on Wednesday, Feb. 27. This is a meeting which Pottsville potentially broke Pennsylvania’s Sunshine laws.
Here is what the Superintendent says:
“The Pottsville Area School District has reviewed certain allegations of student misconduct. This review resulted in advisory notification to the Pottsville Bureau of Police as a matter of courtesy, as well as a detailed internal investigation. Our investigation included extensive interviews.
As a result of the actual information uncovered and discovered through the interview and investigation process, certain discipline was imposed and other actions taken. The Pottsville Area School District, consistent with its obligations under the law, will not discuss the specifics concerning the incident, students involved, discipline taken or any other action taken.
The Pottsville Area School District is committed to re-doubling its efforts to communicate with the entire Tide Community our expectations regarding student conduct and provide encouragement and recognition to our students upholding the standards we embrace.
We anticipate that the Tide Community will continue to witness and hear about the success of our students as they display their many academic and extracurricular talents while demonstrating good citizenship.”
We’re not sure if Zwiebel wrote this entirely by himself or if it was written for him. Certainly, it went through legal counsel. But at what point must he, the school board, and teachers privately ask themselves … is what we’re doing right?
The superintendent is at the mercy of the school board here. They pay him and can give him the ax pretty quickly, if they want.
But everyone up there on 16th Street has an obligation to ALL the students and families and taxpayers of the district. Does this all-too-positive solution come at the expense of other students’ safety?
We think it absolutely does.
March 1, 2019 at 1:40 pm
I would like to know if this slap on the wrist punishment was taken because these students are on the football team. I believe this is sending a message to our children that if you play sports and are in line for scholarships that the school will cover up your misconduct. I feel as though something more should have been done! I am not in agreement with this punishment at all and it has me second guessing the school district even more than I already am.
March 1, 2019 at 7:42 pm
Unless you were in the locker room everything that’s been on here and heard elsewhere is pure speculation
March 2, 2019 at 6:44 am
What is here in these articles is surprisingly accurate.
March 2, 2019 at 7:38 am
Jason: Excellent comment and observation!!!
This two bit, amateur investigative reporter thinks that he/she has busted something open here!!! Perhaps even a personal vendetta against the P,A,S,D, and it’s football team, which some people seem to want to crucify!!! Go back to being an amateur school newspaper writer, and stop harassing an entire education
Leave my beloved alma mater alone, or face charges of character assassination and harassment!!!
March 3, 2019 at 8:00 am
first of all you can’t charge this reporter with anything because they didn’t attack you personally, secondly as a fellow PAHS graduate I will say things do need to change in that school, I personally saw a teacher bully a student with autism, a freaking teacher! I also had an issue with my health my senior year and had teachers tell me I wasn’t going to pass and they weren’t willing to help me.
March 3, 2019 at 9:49 am
I’d like you to know, that this is exactly what’s happening in this school. I would know, I currently am attending. I’ve heard many teachers, and my principals talking. This is a real thing that has happened and it isn’t the first time these boys have done this. This school board does what they can to protect their athletes and their own children in the school. There are a few who try and do what’s right, but the majority, especially the coaches, try to protect themselves and their families. There’s a lot in that school they should be doing, but aren’t.
March 3, 2019 at 8:29 pm
Very sad! Though I am sure this happens in many school districts! This needs to be addressed and all those involved expelled!
March 12, 2019 at 11:22 pm
Shut the fuck up.
March 2, 2019 at 12:42 pm
My son played football for Pottsville, and nothing happened like this what so ever. It’s these young snot nose kids who gets away with everything, that their parents think their shit dont stink. Like Bastards.
March 2, 2019 at 10:52 pm
Yes it did
March 2, 2019 at 10:53 pm
It did happen!
March 3, 2019 at 12:04 am
You are a bunch of idiots. Greater than the fact that your grammar is atrocious, is the fact that your common sense is lacking.
Do you really think Pottsville is sweeping anything under the rug or do you think they are being forced to silence what can’t be proved by an adjudication reached after over-zealous parents hired an attorney and filed suit against the district?
I also wonder why you seem have some sort of vendetta against PASD. You sound like a child who got cut from a team. Sour grapes.
March 5, 2019 at 8:23 am
Proven, not proved. Just saying
March 5, 2019 at 9:38 pm
Because it’s TRUE. Pottsville is shit. Kids get bullied, and worse done to them and they get told they’re “provoking it”. POTTSVILLE IS ASS
March 3, 2019 at 11:43 am
Anyone ever hear of innocent until proven guilty. Well the school handled this the opposite way they suspended these kids and teachers until FBI was involved and found the case has no evidence to accuse anyone. Your getting all your info from an anonymous letter that happen to be written by a disgruntled parent who’s kid doesn’t get enough playing time. This also was not the first anonymous letter this man has written that wasn’t completely true to the school.
March 3, 2019 at 8:53 pm
This incident is far from resolved and more will come out. The anonymous letter was written because the incident was covered up by the people closest to the football team.
March 3, 2019 at 10:16 pm
So why did these football players pick on a handicapped kid to do whatever they did? Are they not brave enough to pick on someone alike?
March 5, 2019 at 4:19 am
As a former law enforcement officer, I believe without a compliant there is only so much you can do, with that being said there are also many rules that prohibit releasing information concerning juveniles involved in unlawful acts. The Superintendent contacted the Pottsville police, talked to the family involved, who wanted a positive outcome for the school district and their son and interviews were conducted that resulted in students receiving discipline. It may not be the outcome that some people may have wanted but this was not swept under the rug, I believe the school officials did what they could based on the limited information that was produced.
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