Fifth Student Alleges Hazing at Maine West High School

CC image Wikipedia.orgAnother student has come forward in the wake of the Maine West High School boys soccer team hazing scandal. The juvenile is the fifth member of the team to claim that he was the victim of a hazing ritual during a team-building event in 2012.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Cook County Circuit Court, and it claims that a fifth member of the soccer team was assaulted during a “campus run” by older teammates. The juvenile, whose name was not released, alleges that older players held him on the ground and physically and sexually assaulted him.

Sadly, this isn’t the first time Maine West High School has been in the news for a hazing incident. Late last year we learned that the Department of Children and Family Services was investigating MWHS for hazing allegations dating back to 2008.

The school district voted to fire Maine West coaches Michael Divincenzo and Emilio Rodriquez for their roles in the incidents. Divincenzo was charged in May with multiple misdemeanors, including hazing, battery, and failure to report abuse as dictated by law as a teacher and a coach.

Attorney Sean Sullivan comments

This is a story we’ve been following closely, and we’ve commented on it before. Sadly, it seems another accuser has come out, which seems to support the conclusion that there was a pattern of abuse and hazing at this school. Acts of severe hazing (such as the actions described here) are the most egregious and should result in criminal charges being filed, but it is not just these individual acts that should be punished.

What is most troubling to me is that it seems the school district and the school itself should be facing a civil lawsuit for a complete lack of oversight and failure to address this situation such that it fostered an atmosphere where these hazers felt that this behavior was acceptable. Hazing is never an acceptable behavior and this school and the school district are just as complacent as the individual perpetrators.

Related source: Chicago Tribune

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