EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

December 1, 2011

Expulsions, suspensions meted out in Andover hazing case

For superintendent's letter to parents, click HERE.

For district safety policy statement, click HERE.

ANDOVER — Two Andover High students have been expelled and at least five others kicked off the basketball team for their roles in a "disturbing" case of hazing against two underclassmen at a basketball camp last July, sources have confirmed.

The punishments may not end there. Sources confirm the Bristol County District Attorney's office will pursue criminal charges and the state Attorney General's office has launched its own investigation.

Nine Andover High players attended the Hoop Mountain basketball camp at Stonehill College in Easton, Mass., where the incident occurred. The Eagle-Tribune reported older students forced two underclassmen to play a humiliating sex game known as "wet biscuit," where the loser was made to eat a semen-covered cookie.

The two ringleaders of the hazing were expelled while the others involved received suspensions for an unknown amount of time and will not be allowed to compete in school sports for the remainder of the school year, sources said.

In a letter to parents yesterday, Superintendent Marinel McGrath said her investigation confirmed students violated the schools' anti-hazing and anti-bullying policies, and called the players' actions "both disappointing and disturbing."

However, she refused to say what punishments were meted out.

"While I fully understand and appreciate that you are legitimately interested in the outcomes for the violations of these policies, I am prohibited by federal and state laws from disclosing information about individual student discipline," McGrath wrote. "I can tell you, however, that in the case of violations of our anti-bullying and anti-hazing policies, our school district policies permit a range of disciplinary actions which include suspension and expulsion from school."

Andover High Athletic Director Christopher Bergeron also did not specify how many players were punished or how. In his letter to parents, he wrote he "intends" to suspend team members involved for "varying period of time due to apparent violations of Andover High School athletic policies and rules.

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