MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (KMSP) - The Minnesota State High School League and Hill-Murray Catholic School are at the center of a civil lawsuit alleging bullying by members of the Hill-Murray School varsity hockey team.
The plaintiff is a high school varsity hockey player who alleges to have endured years of bullying by his teammates. In the 24-page complaint, the young man, known only as John Doe, accused his teammates of verbal abuse.
On more than one occasion, the teen charged that some players threatened that they would “take him out” by blindsiding him on the ice and also kicked and spit on his vehicle. The lawsuit also alleged that although some of the student’s allegations were corroborated, the players were never disciplined.
Concerned for his safety, with the support of Hill-Murray, the teen transferred schools earlier this month. Under MSHSL rules, transfer students have to sit out a year. However, athletes who have been bullied are exempt.
Last week, though, the teen’s varsity year on the ice was in limbo. Citing “exaggerations, inaccuracies and misquotes,” the school refused to sign off on the family’s account of the bullying.
On Tuesday the teen’s lawyer filed a lawsuit alleging defamation, retaliation, and discrimination based on perceived sexual orientation. According to published reports, less than 24-hours after the filing, the varsity high school hockey player’s eligibility was reinstated. The lawsuit, however, will proceed.
Fox 9 reached out the Hill-Murray School, but an official said they are not commenting on the pending case because they have not yet received the court documents.
According to MSHSL spokesman Tim Leighton, "The league does not comment on any threatened, filed, pending or settled legal action."