Alaska football program suspended after abuse allegations

August 23, 2018

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Anchorage School District has canceled a high school football team’s activities for a week following allegations of hazing and sexual misconduct.

Superintendent Deena Bishop sent an email to Dimond High School parents and staff Wednesday, saying the football program was suspended, including its practices and games.

Bishop said she learned of the allegations involving members of the team Monday. The school immediately contacted the Anchorage Police Department, which has launched a criminal investigation.

“I have suspended the football program at Dimond High School and we are working with the Anchorage Police Department to investigate,” Bishop said in the email. “We have zero tolerance for any inappropriate behavior. Until our investigation is complete, I have no further comment. Student safety is always our number one concern.”

The allegations were reported after the team returned from the Saturday game against Lathrop High School in Fairbanks. A mother of a player told KTUU-TV that several older players allegedly sexually assaulted younger teammates during the overnight stay in Fairbanks. It is unclear how many players were involved.

Bishop declined to say if disciplinary action had been taken against students, noting she couldn’t release specific details because the students involved are minors.

Police confirmed the investigation, but declined provide additional information.

“The Anchorage Police Department has been made aware of an incident involving the Dimond High School football team and we are investigating,” Capt. Josh Nolder told the Anchorage Daily News. “This is an active investigation and we cannot release additional information at this time.”

The district has not decided yet if the suspension will be extended.

“A decision about the remainder of the season will be made pending further review,” Bishop said in the email.

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