It looks like the Wayne Township Board of Education in New Jersey finally grew a pair
Maybe it was the pressure of having their town assailed, not just locally but across the country, for allowing high school football to be king — the disgraceful actions of the youths who play the sport be damned. It all involves the aftermath of the beating of two students, an attack that left one of them unconscious and lying on a road.
Here’s the long and short of it. In a fight that happened at a party Oct. 29, nine football players for Wayne Hills High School — including wide receiver Andrew Monaghan — were accused of beating two students from rival school Wayne Valley High.
When school officials at Wayne Hills allowed the nine players, who have been charged with aggravated assault, to take part in two playoff games after the Oct. 29 incident, some Wayne residents were “outraged,” according to The Star-Ledger of Newark.
It’s a surprise any residents were outraged, since high school football players are often given special treatment, and often get a sense of entitlement, namely that they can do whatever they want.
The accused players had their advocates. Some residents, and the lawyers for the players, argued that the accused youths should be able to play. After all, they have not been convicted of any crime and are innocent until proven guilty, proponents for the players argued, according to The Ledger.
But on Friday the Wayne school board changed its tune. It unanimously ruled that the nine accused Wayne Hills players won’t be able to play in a state championship game next Saturday. The board said that the Oct. 29 incident “has left a black mark on our community.”
Until the case against the players is resolved, they should not be allowed to take the field, that’s our take.
Interim School Superintendent Michael Roth several weeks ago ruled that the accused players couldn’t be suspended because their alleged actions took place off-campus. But then Roth had a change of heart, and reversed that decision Nov. 16, The Ledger reported. But then school school board voted to stay Roth’s decision.
On Friday the board lifted that stay.
The assault case is under criminal investigation, and the school board made some smart suggestions in the interim.
It wants a code of ethics written that will govern all schools in the district. It wants the state to precisely define when a school district can suspend a student for off-campus activities. And it wants the state Attorney General to follow the case to determine “whether it falls under the harassment, intimidation and bullying statute,” The Ledger wrote.
The story didn’t mention what happened to the youth who was knocked unconscious.
Attorney Gordon Johnson
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice
firstname.lastname@example.org :: 800-992-9447 :: Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.