High school wrestling team under sexual assault investigation
KALISPELL, Mont. - A Montana high school’s wrestling team is under investigation after reported incidents of sexual assault.
Kalispell Police Chief Doug Overman confirmed to FOX Television Stations his officers are looking into claims involving Glacier High School but could not comment further on the matter.
According to KPAX, Michael Bliven— an attorney for the victims— said the "alleged assaults were caused by a culture and tradition of hazing at Glacier High School and its wrestling program."
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Bliven also told the outlet the alleged incidents took place on school buses and hotels dating back to last year. He’s asking for the head wrestling coach and the school’s activities director to be suspended while the investigation continues.
Kalispell School District Superintendent Micah Hill also released a statement to news outlets.
"On Jan. 9, we were made aware of alleged misconduct involving some of our students that reportedly took place last school year," he said. "As soon as we learned about this incident, we immediately started an internal investigation, which included reaching out to the students involved and their parents. At the same time, we learned a police investigation into the matter was underway."
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Hill said the district has already taken disciplinary actions and will continue to do so. Citing privacy concerns, Hill didn’t elaborate but said the district is fully cooperating with the police.
According to Inside Hazing, 1.5 million high school students are hazed each year in the U.S. Also, 91% of all high school students belong to at least an extracurricular group, and nearly half of them, 48% report being subjected to hazing activities.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.