Criminal Investigation Into Alleged Coweta Hazing Closed
COWETA, Oklahoma - The criminal investigation into hazing accusations at Coweta High School is closed, but the school district is moving forward with punishments.
The parents of the boy at the center of the incident said their son is not a victim and nothing happened.
The three Coweta High School football players won’t face criminal charges, but they are suspended for 45 days after a video some said was hazing surfaced on social media.
The incident involved a Snapchat video showing a student on the ground with his hands behind his back while two of his teammates sprayed water on his head and pretended to poke him in the rear-end with a pencil.
The caption of the video said, "Hazing at its finest."
"Even though the video may look bad, if you stand back and you take a breath you can see what was going on. You can see they were just playing around with each other," said Coweta Police Chief Mike Bell.
Though police said it was not a criminal act, they said it's important to watch what you post online.
"It's very important these kids understand jokes are funny at times, but you have to watch what jokes you play on each other because it could turn out to be something very serious," Bell said.
Parents of the boy on the ground in the video said they will not press charges. They said all of the students involved were treated unfairly by school administration.
"We want apologies on how these kids have been portrayed and how my son has been portrayed," Greg Barlow said.
The school district released a statement saying:
“Coweta Public Schools’ primary responsibility is to provide a safe and secure environment for all children. We cultivate policies and procedures that protect this environment.
“Certain behaviors that may have been perceived as acceptable in years past are not acceptable in public schools and as such there are repercussions that come with those such actions or behaviors.
“Federal law prevents us from disclosing information regarding specific details on student discipline actions taken, if any, or on individual cases. However, all students are entitled to an appeals process following any disciplinary matter.”