Two days before a 15-year-old sophomore girl at Milton Academy performed oral sex on five varsity ice hockey players in a school locker room, the girl engaged in the same act with three of the players and another boy in a school dormitory room while another male student kept watch outside, a school investigation has found.
On Friday, the academy put the boy who acted as a lookout on one week's suspension and put the other boy, who is a minor at 15 years of age, on leave. School officials also notified Milton police, who have been investigating the locker room incident.
Under state law, a person can be prosecuted for having sex with someone under 16 years old. Police declined to comment yesterday, saying only that the investigation is ongoing.
School officials said that they consider the dormitory episode an ''earlier component" of the Jan. 24 locker room incident.
''As far as we know this is an isolated incident," academy spokeswoman Cathleen Everett said yesterday.
The five hockey players, ages 16 through 18, were expelled after a school investigation concluded that on the night of Jan. 24, they used a passcode to enter a boys locker room, where they requested and received oral sex from the girl. Two other boys walked in on the scene, school officials said, and the group dispersed, ending the 15-minute episode.
School officials said they learned Thursday about the earlier incident, which happened on the evening of Saturday, Jan. 22, in an unspecified dormitory. After interviewing the students involved, Everett said, the school took action.
''The Academy amended its institutional response to include two individuals we had not yet considered," Everett said.
One of the two boys who happened upon the locker room scene, meanwhile, has withdrawn from the academy, Everett confirmed. She would not comment on the relationship between that boy and the hockey players, but several parents said he is a brother of one of the expelled players.
The girl, who is from New Hampshire, was put on leave until her family and school administrators decide whether or when she should return. It is the Globe's policy not to name victims of possible sexual abuse without their consent. The 15-year-old boy involved in the dormitory incident was put on a similar leave, Everett said.
A lawyer representing four of the five expelled hockey players said yesterday that the incidents are part of a pattern of sexual activity at the academy.
''None of these are isolated incidents," attorney Tracy A. Miner said in an interview. ''The more that it's known that there are multiple incidents at Milton Academy, the more it's clear that there was no coercion in the incident for which these kids were expelled."
School officials have maintained that the five-to-one male-female ratio in the locker room incident constituted coercion. Everett said yesterday that such sexual incidents are not unique to the academy, but have happened at schools across the state.
''These incidents arise out of a climate and a culture that makes kids think it's OK to do these things," Everett said. ''As long as it's unrecognized by parents and institutions outside the schools, we're in it alone. We're struggling alone."
Clinical psychologist Sharon J. Maxwell, who has worked on a teen sexuality task force with the Norfolk district attorney, said yesterday that children have been engaging in oral sex in alarming numbers as early as middle school.
''If you look at how sex is being portrayed in all the media directed at that age group, sex is being disconnected from intimacy," said Maxwell, who did not want to comment specifically on the Milton Academy case, saying the full context of those incidents has yet to become public.
Oral sex is no longer considered sexual intercourse by many children, Maxwell said, but ''something cool to tell your friends about."
In Milton Academy's independent student newspaper, a student-written editorial on Friday urged the school community to face up to a ''dark, perverse side to Milton life that many of us feel uncomfortable facing."
The editorial advises readers to clean up their language when talking about women. A ''whore," for example, is not a girl with a short skirt, the paper says, but a prostitute. And the paper said females should take charge of their sexuality and not allow themselves to be treated as sexual objects, while males should say ''no" in situations that may be consensual but at the same time degrading or cruel for a partner.
''Let's not kid ourselves: the recent sexual scandal may be more pronounced or more horrifying than what else goes on at Milton, but it did not come out of nowhere," The Milton Paper editorial reads. ''Unless we examine, question, and reflect on the culture that gave rise to this incident, we will never rid ourselves of the fundamental problem that caused it in the first place."
Donovan Slack can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org