Freshman was punched, says superintendent

By Megan Tench, Globe Staff Five students from Whitman-Hanson Regional High School were suspended this week after a freshman student was taped to a bench and punched in the groin during a bizarre hazing incident, school officials said yesterday.
School Superintendent John F. McEwan said four sophomores and a junior decided Jan. 17 to pull a prank on a freshman after school in the boys' locker room.
At the time, between 2 and 2:15 p.m., the students were preparing for sports, and the locker room was unsupervised, McEwan said.
The students first grabbed a freshman, held him down, and started teasing him, McEwan said.
"That student got away," he said.
The group then went after another freshman, who, at first, was laughing as well, McEwan said.
"The student was brought into the locker room, his sweatshirt was pulled over his head," he said. "They taped him to a bench using medical tape. One person sat on him. They were teasing him. Ultimately, one boy punched him in the groin. Up to that point, the boy had been laughing and joking with him."
But after being punched in the groin once or twice, the freshman began to cry and was let go. He did not require medical attention, McEwan said.
After parents called the office to complain, school officials interviewed 19 students who were around the locker room at the time. McEwan said police were informed. It was determined that it was a hazing incident, and the five students involved were each given a five-day suspension, McEwan said.
"It is unacceptable behavior, and they had to be disciplined appropriately," he said. The parents of the victim were satisfied with the punishment and decided they did not want charges pressed, McEwan said.

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