Tamaqua Area School District board president Larry WIttig confirmed to The Canary Friday that “several” students have been suspended as the school and police investigate what’s being referred to, for now, as a “hazing” incident.
The “hazing” incident is being linked, at least in part, to Tamaqua’s high school football team.
Tamaqua School Board President Confirms “Several” Suspended Amid Hazing Investigation
Wittig tells us “several” students have received an out-of-school suspension for 10 days. He’s unsure when each student’s suspension started and says 10 days is the maximum the school administration can suspend a student.
The suspensions are a result of what’s being referred to as a “hazing” incident that happened somewhere on the Tamaqua school campus on Thursday, Nov. 4. No other details about the incident have been released.
Earlier this week, Wittig was the first Tamaqua official to refer to what happened as another other than an “incident” when he referred to it as a “hazing” act. At that time, Wittig promised that Tamaqua wouldn’t sweep what happened under the proverbial rug.
“This is not boys will be boys,” Wittig says.
School Board Hearing to Consider Expulsion, Find Others Involved
While the Tamaqua students are serving their suspensions, Wittig says the school board’s Hearing Committee is preparing to bring each before them to consider further disciplinary action, including possible expulsion.
It’s important to note that what the school board does and decides is independent of what Tamaqua police may decide at the end of their investigation into the alleged incident.
Wittig says the goal is to reach some type of determination on the currently suspended students within the 10 days they’re suspended from school. And he said frankly to our question on what might happen if the hearings can’t be held within that suspension window, “I don’t know.”
But he did say that the first hearings could implicate more people connected with the alleged “hazing” incident. If that’s the case, it could lead to more hearings. Wittig says he’s considering creating an additional Hearing Committee so as not to overload the current 3-person committee comprised of school board members.
“We want to send a message that no matter how superfluously you were involved, you were still involved,” Wittig says.
- Tamaqua Board President Reveals “Hazing Incident” Happened, School Won’t “Brush It Under the Rug”
- Tamaqua Superintendent Releases Statement on Football Team “Incident”