ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Another case of hazing in high school football has this time hit New Mexico powerhouse La Cueva High School and left a group of players suspended.
Albuquerque Public Schools says four varsity football players went after the freshman football player after he simply walked on the varsity team's field. The district has now suspended the players saying the behavior is something it won't tolerate.
"It's not behavior that we're going to look the other way for,” said Monica Armenta, APS executive director of communications.
APS says the incident happened on Monday afternoon when four players “rushed” the freshman when he walked on to a field used solely for the varsity team, as if he violated some sort of unwritten rule.
“One of the varsity players hit him in the chest, one put him in a headlock, one dragged him and the other took off his helmet and threw it in the field,” said Armenta.
According to the district the victim wasn't physically harmed and did not require medical attention.
Soon after the incident, school leaders found out about it and suspended the four kids involved for three days of school and activities. The school's principal also talked to the team about it, according to the district.
“It goes against their ethics, how we want people to look at them, what we expect from them as young men,” said Armenta.
While this is a first incident for La Cueva, the district says it’s taking it very seriously, especially because they talk about hazing and bullying with every student every year.
“These sort of examples are really, truly disturbing,” said Armenta.
The district says the incident should not define La Cueva.
“These were four individuals who behaved terribly, and they've been dealt with, but they're not a reflection of the entire population of La Cueva High School,” said Armenta.
APS says the four suspended varsity players will be back at school and practice next week, and they won't miss the first game on Friday against Cleveland High.
A spokesperson for the New Mexico Activities Association told KRQE News 13 it's very concerned about the incident. Typically, the group spends thousands each year putting on conferences and working with nearly all of the state's school district's to do bullying- and hazing-education seminars.
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