Where were the adults at Hamilton High School?
In March 2017, shock and surprise rocked Hamilton high school in Chandler Arizona, when six players from their powerhouse football team were arrested and three were charged with, “one count of sexual assault, three counts of aggravated assault, three counts of kidnapping and two counts of molestation in connection with the attacks believed to have begun in August 2016.”
Some reports show that this hazing, if you so choose to call it that, began as early as 2015.
The three players charged are all under 18-years of age, but 17-year old Nathaniel Thomas was charged as an adult because it is believed he actually used his finger to sexually penetrate the victim.
This story sickens you to the core. No one, in the name of “hazing”, should be subjected to this behavior. It’s an understatement to say these young men went to far.
This isn’t making underclassmen sing the school song or carry funny looking backpacks. This is criminal and if found guilty, these young men have to face the repercussions of their actions.
But here is my question, WHERE WERE THE ADULTS?
All the focus thus far has been on the young men that committed this terrible act, but we are all being asked to believe that in over two years not one administrator, athletic director or football coach never heard of this at all?
This says one of two things about the “Adults”, either they knew and just didn’t care by chalking it up to “Boys will be boys” or they didn’t know. And if they didn’t know, this screams of lack of institutional control.
Programs are taken away and coaches are fired for lack of institutional control, but will this be the case at Hamilton?
In 2014, I illustrated how a young lady from the Hamilton volleyball team stated she was sexually assaulted by a prominent member of the Hamilton baseball team. This incident was taped but the action the administration took was sadly laughable.
There was no rush to do anything except sweep this reprehensible action as far under the rug as possible. Even her own volleyball coach, Sharon Vanis, allegedly seemed more interested in turning the victim into the criminal than helping her own player.
Administrators proved to be no help either. (Link to that article is attached so you can read http://www.thesportskave.com/was-there-ever-punishment-from-hamilton-hs-you-decide/ )
Since the arrest of six of his football players, head coach Steve Belles has been reassigned at a different location and is not allowed on the Hamilton campus.
Chandler Unified School District states this is not disciplinary action.
Belles who took over the football program in 2006, has lead Hamilton to five state championships.
At this point we will find out what matters most to Hamilton, their athletic programs or the possible victims at the hands of some rogue athletes? Fortunately this time, the authorities are officially involved so there might be a different outcome for the victims.
At this time, questions are being routed to the Chandler police department as this investigation is still active.
If a child commits a crime, parents are responsible for restitution. Hopefully if the program is found guilty, the kids will not be the only ones doing “time for the crime”. It’s time that the adults at Hamilton High School be held responsible as well.
If it’s found that coaches and the school administration was aware and did nothing to stop or prevent this behavior, all types of punishments should be on the table. This includes mass firings and the strongest disciplinary actions allowed. And yes, the death penalty for the football program should be on the table.
The fact that the football team is allowed to have spring practice and drills should be stopped until there is an answer as to what the coaches and administration knew.
The Chandler Unified district have dropped the ball by not allowing any type of football activities to take place without answers.
Parents trust coaches and administrators to guide these young athletes to do the right thing and they should not get a free pass when things go sideways. I mean they are the adults, right?
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