Five 7th grade boys at McNabb Middle School are sitting on the sidelines this weekend. That's because they were suspended from a weekend basketball tournament for their alleged role in a hazing incident earlier this week.
Montgomery County Schools superintendent Dr. Daniel Freeman says that during the reported incident in the boys locker room, the suspects had taken a plastic bottle and were "acting like they were going to punch it into their rear end." Freeman says the victims, who are 6th grade players, were fully clothed during the ordeal but did suffer some bruises from getting pushed up against the lockers.
Freeman says that during the investigation, officials are learning that this "rite of passage" might have occurred in prior years but that has not been confirmed.
When asked why the boys involved in the hazing incident were not suspended from school, Freeman explained that the offense took place during an activity (basketball) and not in an academic setting. Therefore, the punishment would be matched to the activity. The boys are sitting out a weekend basketball tournament being held at the school.
This incident comes just a week after an incident involving a student giving a soda containing urine to another student. That prank resulted in wanton endangerment charges and an in-school suspension for the alleged prankster.
Despite these recent offenses, Freeman insists that McNabb is a safe school and has a zero-tolerance for bullying.
Police are investigating the hazing incident and charges are pending.