Florida High School Football Program Under Investigation After Alleged Lewd 'Hazing' Video Goes Viral
A high school football coach and several students have been suspended after an allegedly lewd hazing video went viral on social media, officials said.
A Florida high school program is under investigation after a "hazing" video went viral on social media, allegedly containing simulated sex positions, officials said.
The football coach and several unnamed students have been suspended, and the varsity and junior varsity football seasons have been postponed, authorities said.
The video allegedly shows players simulating sexual acts against another teenager in the Viera High School locker room, according to local reports.
A private meeting between parents, players and school officials was held Monday over the investigation.
"We're not about canceling the season. That's not the goal. That's not why we had the meeting tonight," Brevard Public Schools Superintendent Mark Rendell said Monday evening.
"The meeting was to ensure that we can move forward with the right protocols in place, with the right education and training in place to make sure what happened last week does not ever happen again," he said.
School officials said they became aware of the viral video late last week.
"Hazing, bullying, and intimidation have no place in Brevard Public Schools. We have spent the past several days investigating the hazing incident involving members of the Viera High football team," said a statement released Sunday by Rendell.
The Brevard County Sheriff's Office is now investigating the video.
"Once all of the facts have been collected and the case is finalized, it will be forwarded to the Brevard County State Attorney’s Office for review and a filing decision regarding any criminal actions that occurred!!" said Sheriff Wayne Ivey in a Monday Facebook statement posted on the department's page.
"The majority of the incident was video recorded by one of the team members and was later posted to social media causing significant concern throughout our community at various levels," Ivey said.
Head football coach Shane Staples, 40, was named to the team's top post last year. Inside Edition Digital has reached out to Staples for comment on his suspension, but has not heard back.
School officials said coaching staff and players will be required to undergo training about hazing, which is illegal in Florida schools.
"The parents were supportive of going through the training and doing the right thing before we came back. I didn't know how that was going to be taken," said Matt Susin, chairman of the school board, following Monday's meeting.
The coach will remain in his role as a physical education teacher, Susin said.
The video was made on Aug. 14, apparently with no adults present, officials said.
“When our kids act that way, I would’ve handed in my resignation within an hour. I would have. I promise you I would have,” Susin said. “You can’t have kids in a game situation or a practice situation that are just sitting around with no observation.”
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