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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Town Ripped Apart

Cross-posted at THEB.

A break from the usual political discussion.

ESPN’s Elizabeth Merrill contributes this article to the network’s outstanding Outside The Lines feature, this time spotlighting a small town in western New York ripped apart over a hazing incident on a school athletic bus which involved the sexual assault of two boys while the baseball team’s coaches did nothing to prevent the assault.

Now, three varsity players and the coaches are facing criminal charges in the sexual assault of two JV players in what may have been an annual occurrence: the hazing of younger players.

The town is divided, with many supporting the team’s coaches. But law enforcement maintains, after conducting 30 interviews of players, that this has been going on for years under the watch of the team’s coaches.

Read the whole thing. It’s worth the time.

The players who committed the assault should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And yes, whether or not the two adults knew what was happening — and I maintain they had to know — it’s their job to know. They also should be prosecuted as well as lose their jobs. If a sexual assault took place in a classroom, wouldn’t we expect the teacher assigned to that classroom be held accountable? Of course we would. Why is this case any different?

The two adults at least failed to prevent a crime from occurring when they were responsible and in charge of a bus full of high school athletes. At worst, they facilitated the commission of a felony if they were aware of what was taking place and did nothing to prevent it from happening.

The lives of the two victims will never be the same.

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