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Email sent by Ashland High football coach to parents after hazing assault

 Posted: 2:00 AM January 11, 2013

From: Charlie Hall

To: Names and email addresses redacted

Sent: Thursday, June 28, 2012 1:05 PM

Subject: Linfield Camp Issues Explained

Dear Freshman Football Families,

I want to apologize for the stress that has been created within the Grizzly football family due [to] some events and poor decisions made by members of [the] team at the Linfield Camp. As the head football coach I take full responsibility. Should you need further explanation or have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me.

First of all, I want to make sure everyone knows the facts. We cannot have rumors that are embellished or contrary shared within our community. The timing is not good with rumors and allegations as we need to reach out to this loyal and supportive community in order to help our boys raise money for the Pacific Rim Bowl trip next summer.

A junior boy, ironically, brand new to our program, instituted an "initiation" for would-be varsity players and other sophomores. Several of the freshmen witnessed these activities, but based on my investigation, none of the six freshmen participated or were threatened by any such initiation.

Let me make this very clear; we do not condone hazing, bullying or any form of initiation in our football program at any level or at any time. The individual who took the liberty to carry out this hazing has been permanently removed from the team and his actions were reported and filed with Department of Health [Human] Services. I have already met with the boy and his parent and disclosed the allegations and consequences.

This has never happened in our program, however it is [a] powerful lesson to our players of all grades. We constantly talk to our players about making good decisions and choices. Most of them can figure out black and white issues. Alcohol, drugs and stealing seem to be the most common poor decisions and actions. Those actions are very defined and are not tolerated.

The incident at camp started off as a prank among a small group. That prank turned into hazing. When physical threats were added to the hazing, then that became a potential assault. (Black and white became very "grey.") I am very disappointed in the non-action of some of our players, who did nothing or enabled this "new player" to create fear and distrust among our younger players.

I hope our players now understand that inaction is often as dangerous [as] a poor direct action. They need to know it's OK to tell a coach that "something is not right" and not feel like a "tattletale." We have talked with our varsity/JV players about this. I only had seven freshmen at today's workout and shared those thoughts with them, but want to touch base with all the freshmen and their parents so that they feel safe and look forward to being an integral part of [the] Grizzly football program. We work very hard in creating a positive, supportive and safe culture for our players (your kids) and we will continue to do so.

Sincerely,

Charlie Hall

Head Football Coach

PS. I hope all available freshmen will come to the Grizz Card Blitz tonight. We will meet in the small gym at 6 p.m. after the varsity workout.


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