Old Rochester-Fairhaven Hockey Players Disciplined in Hazing Incident
Multiple students who play on the combined Old Rochester-Fairhaven joint varsity hockey team have been disciplined as a result of a hazing incident, school officials said.
The announcement came in a joint release by Old Rochester Regional School District Superintendent Michael Nelson and Fairhaven Public Schools Superintendent Tara Kohler after the completion of an investigation into the incident. The investigation found that “hazing did occur and that multiple members of the joint hockey team violated school policies,” according to the release.
On October 19, a staff member of Old Rochester Regional High School shared with administrators a video that was circulating among students showing a member of the hockey team “apparently being subjected to an act of hazing by teammates,” school officials said. They noted an investigation was launched immediately involving both the students and their parents. The Mattapoisett school resource officer was also notified, as were the athletic directors of both districts.
The investigation, conducted by ORR administrators, “found that a student-athlete on the hockey team was the victim of hazing carried out by multiple teammates on Oct. 17 in the locker room of Gallo Ice Arena in Bourne,” school officials said. There were no athletic staff or coaches from either school present because it was an “independent event” organized by a parent, but students from both ORR and Fairhaven High were present. The release noted that “the two districts are jointly reviewing policies regarding unsanctioned or independent team activities and practices that occur outside the purview of school athletics staff.”
“This is a deeply disappointing and troubling incident. We expect our students to treat each other with kindness and respect at all times, both inside and outside of school,” Superintendent Nelson said.
Those who participated in the hazing have been disciplined and will be banned from participating on the hockey team for the 2021-2022 season.
"I was upset to learn of this incident, but am confident that this investigation was a thorough examination of what occurred," Superintendent Kohler said. "Athletic and co-curricular activities are meant to be enriching experiences for our students, and we will not tolerate hazing in any of our programs. I am hopeful that this incident will serve as a reminder to all that we expect everyone in our school community to act with respect and integrity at all times."