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Guthrie ends season of football freshmen

An alleged locker room incident at Maumelle High School has resulted in swift action from the school’s principal, Becky Guthrie, as she cancelled the last football game of the year for the freshman football team.

Guthrie’s statement said several freshmen allegedly pulled down the pants of a teammate while videotaping the incident. The video was later posted to YouTube.

Maumelle Police Chief Sam William said no police report was filed over the incident and didn’t expect any criminal action as a result of the alleged incident.

Guthrie went to Facebook and posted this statement there:

“The mission of Maumelle High school is to provide a safe and caring environment for all students. Hazing is NOT tolerated. Due to two incidents of hazing that occurred in the 9th grade boys locker room last week after previous warnings that this behavior must stop, practice for 9th grade football ceased until the incident could be investigated by Becky Guthrie, Principal of Maumelle High School.

The investigation revealed that although only a few athletes were physically involved in the incident, the majority of the team stood as spectators. None of the athletes reported the incidents. One of the incidents was made public via video.

Maumelle High School will not tolerate bullying or hazing. Therefore the 9th grade football team will forfeit the remaining game left in the season. Athletics are an important part of the high school experience. However, the teaching of character is more important. Maumelle High School desires to teach athletes how to become young adults with positive character while obtaining a rigorous education. Our hope is to teach young people to speak out against acts which are demoralizing to others.

Furthermore, the administration will seek to ensure additional supervision and structure are in place for all athletic programs.”

Maumelle parents chimed in on Guthrie’s decision and they were all supportive.

“We support your decision 100 percent,” wrote parent Rebecca Porras. “However, not everyone in that locker room participated or really knew the extent of what was going on. Please don’t let the actions of a few paint the whole football team as ‘bullies.’”

Her son plays on the team.

Pulaski County Special School District conducted its own investigation with its chief of security. And the superintendent Dr. Jerry Guess supported Guthrie’s decision.

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