Hazing is any action or situation that endangers the mental, physical, or academic health or safety of a student. It is commonly portrayed on television as a ritual to initiate a person into a team, sorority, fraternity or club. Its practice has been a major epidemic in U.S. school systems for decades. The gruesome saga continues as it brings turmoil to athletes in Texas. Seven minors and two adults have been charged with sodomizing students since 2014. La Vernia Chief of Police Bruce Ritchey has reported that the case involves nine students on the La Vernia High School football team.

However, law enforcement has found that the baseball and basketball teams at the high school were also involved in student hazing to some degree.

Young boy sexually assaulted

The hazing happened allegedly during the 2016-2017 school year. Though the names of the minor suspects haven’t been released, investigators have identified the adults involved in the horrendous acts. On Monday, police charged Dustin Norman and Robert Olivarez Jr. with assault on a 16-year-old male student attending La Vernia High. Both senior football players at the school are accused of overpowering the younger student and sexually violating him with foreign objects. Arrest affidavits provided this information after they were released on Tuesday.

The victim was allegedly pinned down and sexually assaulted with the end of a carbon dioxide tank. The child’s mother, who chooses to remain anonymous, gave a statement on behalf of her son. She stated that her young boy was held down in the locker room and sodomized with multiple items.

According to NY Daily News, the mother also said, “There was a lookout at the door watching for coaches not to come.

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They hold them down and stick various items up their rectum…including coke bottles, deodorant bottles, steel pipes, baseball bats and broom sticks.”

The school’s response

Superintendent Jose Moreno mentioned the incident in a post on the Facebook page of La Vernia Independent School District. He has expressed strenuous concern over the heinous acts of sexual conduct with a minor.

He said, “The travesty of events occurring at the La Vernia High School have crushed the spirit of our community.” Moreno promised that the administration of the high school as well as its athletic directors “are implementing additional protocols to provide students a clear path of communication to report a concern, receive counseling and know that their voices will be heard while maintaining their privacy.”

The juvenile suspects in this case were taken into custody last week and have since been released to their legal guardians. The two adult students remain at Wilson County Jail in Floresville, TX.