HUTCHINSON After spending three weeks investigating a report of hazing at Hutchinson High School, Hutchinson police have concluded there is no evidence indicating any coaches at the school condoned or intentionally ignored hazing, the Hutchinson school district announced Monday.
Hutchinson USD 308 posted a lengthy statement from Hutchinson Police Chief Dick Heitschmidt on Facebook concerning the report that two 15-year-old football players and a 14-year-old football player were all “branded” with a heated wire hanger in the high school’s locker room on Oct. 30 and 31.
Three Hutchinson High football players – two 18-year-olds and one 16-year-old – have been arrested and charged in connection with the branding. All three have been charged with felony aggravated battery, and the two 18-year-olds are also charged with misdemeanor hazing.
“I want to stress again that (the district) has no tolerance of hazing or bullying, and we’re looking at ways we can be more proactive in limiting bullying in schools,” Superintendent Shelly Kiblinger said Monday.
In his report to the school district, Heitschmidt said that police interviewed 31 people, including 24 current Hutchinson High School student athletes and seven former athletes. None of those interviewed “made any remarks or even insinuated that any of the coaching staff knew or was in any way aware or involved,” Heitschmidt said in his statement to the school district.
Heitschmidt could not be reached for comment.
Kiblinger said she received the statement from Heitschmidt on Monday morning.
“The main thing I want to communicate is I was afraid people would look at the report from the police – basically saying they didn’t unearth anything more than the facts that are already out there – and I don’t want people to think this is a done deal,” she said.
“We’ll be making sure we don’t have hazing in our schools and bullying, because hazing is a form of bullying.”