According to a statement released today (Oct. 12) by Loudoun County Public Schools, the alleged assault in the Tuscarora High School locker room after a football practice last week involved “wrongdoing” by no more than three students.
The statement came as the Huskies were preparing to play Freedom High School Friday night at South Riding. The district and Leesburg Police Department have confirmed that an alleged assault in the team locker room is being investigated. Citing investigation protocol and students’ privacy rights, no other details have been released.
LCPS Superintendent Dr. Eric Williams was quoted in the Oct. 12 statement.
“Behaviors such as those alleged in this case, if true, will not be tolerated and will result in severe disciplinary consequences,” Williams said. “Out of sensitivity to those involved, and to the larger school community, we encourage everyone to refrain from speculation and from passing on the speculation of others.”
The LCPS Discipline Codes and Guidelines for Building Administrators sets discipline consequences, including expulsion, for serious infractions, according to the statement.
“No indication exists that the alleged incident at Tuscarora High School involves wrongdoing by more than three students,” Friday’s statement continued. “No indication exists of a threat to the safety of other students. Investigations by LCPS and the Leesburg Police Department are ongoing.
“Based on the information able to LCPS, including information received from the Leesburg Police Department, we are confident that students are safe and that normal school activities can continue. Should circumstances change, this decision will be reviewed.”
On Oct. 11, Tuscarora Principal Pamela Croft responded to “traditional and social media” criticism by strongly defending the district’s decision to play the game against Freedom.
“There has been a great deal of speculation regarding the Tuscarora High School football team and the decision to play our game Friday against Freedom High School,” Croft said in the statement that was also released as an audio recording. “First, let me say that the alleged incident that has gained so much attention in traditional and social media is isolated and involved a very small number of students. It is not indicative of the Husky football program, its players or Coach Wheelbarger and his staff. I feel it is inappropriate and unfair to penalize the 83 student members of the program for the alleged actions of a few.
“I would ask those purporting to tell ‘the true story’ through social media and other means stop and consider the care and time that must be taken to ensure fairness and proper consequences for all involved in this alleged incident.”
The district and LPD relesaed a joint statement Oct. 10, confirming there was a reported incident that was being investigated.
According to that statement, “Leesburg police have not determined what charges, if any, will be sought regarding the incident.
“LCPS is cooperating with the Leesburg Police Department to investigate an alleged incident involving members of the Tuscarora High School football team. LCPS became aware of the alleged incident on Friday, October 5.”
That statement also made reference to various laws and policies preventing either party from giving specific information.