Andover High sanctions students for hazing incident at Easton college

The Andover school system has taken disciplinary action against members of the Andover High basketball team for allegedly hazing younger team members during a basketball camp at Stonehill College in Easton this summer.

In a letter sent to parents and in a posting on the department’s website, Andover School Superintendent Marinel McGrath said the district investigated and found violations of the system’s antihazing and antibullying policies occurred during the Hoop Mountain basketball camp.

“I am saddened to report that the investigation has concluded and that there were violations of the policies,’’ she wrote. “We will hold individuals accountable, but also provide them with an opportunity to learn and grow from this experience.’’

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McGrath said disciplinary action would be taken against the offenders, but said that she could not provide any details because of student privacy laws. She wrote that disciplinary options range from suspension to expulsion, and that she plans to “stricly enforce” antihazing and antibullying rules.

A second note was released from the system’s athletic director, Christopher R. Bergeron, in which he said he intended to “suspend student-athletes . . . for varying periods of time due to apparent violations of Andover High School athletic policies and rules.”

Bergeron noted that “participation in the AHS Athletic Prgoram is a privilege not a right.’’

School officials did not describe the hazing incident, nor identify the number of students sanctioned. The Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence, which first broke the story, reported today that nine students are being disciplined, including two who are being expelled.

After being notified by Easton police about the hazing incident, Stonehill College terminated its agreement with Hoop Mountain, which had rented space on the campus since 2005. Steve Gibbs, president of Hoop Mountain, called the allegations, if true, “reprehensible and very disturbing,’’ but said no players had notified staff members of any wrongdoing.