High School Football Hazing Raises Questions of Responsibility, Privacy

An alleged hazing incident involving football players at a Florida high school has rapidly escalated into mutual recriminations between the alleged victim’s parents on the one hand, and school officials and their attorney on the other. The parents are now threatening to sue the school, while a former attorney for the school district has criticized his successor’s handling of the case. Here in Oregon, we can see the case as an example of the sort of behavior schools, teachers and coaches need to be on the lookout for. Oregon bullying can lead to Oregon child injuries. When there is a danger of that happening, parents need to be vigilant, and assure that educators are doing their jobs.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the parents allege that their 15-year-old son was “beaten, choked unconscious and thrown in a garbage can.” Their attorney – who until recently was the school district’s chief counsel – told reporters he believes the school district downplayed the incident because the high school athletes involved are among the top-rated football players in the state. He also criticized the current attorney for the school district for comparing the accused players to the Duke University lacrosse players who were falsely accused of rape several years ago.

The school, for its part, says the family has not cooperated with its investigation, and claims the parents have not produced medical records to substantiate their allegations. The parents, in turn, allege that by publicizing the case the school has violated their son’s privacy.

The fact that the alleged victim flew to New York to tell his story to CBS on national television and that the family have asked the Rev. Al Sharpton to act as their spokesman has done little to dampen the emotions surrounding the case.

Setting those emotions aside, however, Oregon parents can see clearly that on a basic level the alleged victim’s parents in Florida have done what they felt they had to in terms of protecting their son. Any Oregon child injury is a traumatic experience for the entire family. If there is any suspicion that school officials may not have fulfilled all of their duties and obligations, parents owe it to themselves to contact a Portland child injury lawyer for assistance in considering their options. Justice, unfortunately, cannot be assumed and must often be fought for. An Oregon personal injury attorney with experience both in sports injuries and in injuries to children can be your most important ally in that quest for justice in the days and weeks following an accident.

Orlando Sentinel: Parents say they’ll sue school district over Dr. Phillips locker-room incident