Tuscarora Principal Defends Decision to Play Football Game as Assault Investigation Continues

Tuscarora Principal Defends Decision to Play Football Game as Assault Investigation Continues

In a statement released today (Oct. 11) by Loudoun County Public Schools, Tuscarora High School Principal Pamela Croft defends the decision for the Huskies to play their regularly scheduled football game Friday against Freedom during an ongoing police investigation into an alleged assault reported in the team locker room after practice last week.

“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.”

LCPS and the Leesburg Police Department confirmed in a joint statement released Oct. 10 that the incident is 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.”

The statement then made reference to various laws and policies preventing either party from giving specific information.

“To preserve the integrity of the investigation by Leesburg police – and due to federal laws protecting student privacy – LCPS is limited as to what it can share with the public. Federal law prohibits LCPS from revealing disciplinary consequences involving students. School Board policy sets discipline consequences, including expulsion, for very serious infractions.”

The statement referred to steps being taken by the Leesburg Police Department.

“The Leesburg Police Department continues to monitor this situation. The Leesburg Police Department is committed to providing more resources to Tuscarora should they be needed.”

Tuscarora (4-2 overall, 2-1 in regional play) and Freedom (0-6, 0-3) are scheduled to play at 7 p.m. Friday in South Riding.

Joseph Dill