Felony Charges; Police probe BHS hazing incidents
BLACKFOOT — Four former Blackfoot High School athletes and an unidentified juvenile have been summoned to appear on charges relating to hazing incidents within the last year.
The Blackfoot Police Department, in cooperation with the administration and staff at Blackfoot High School, began an investigation in September after students came forward to report incidences of harassment, intimidation and bullying. The investigation is ongoing.
Bingham County Prosecuting Attorney Scott Andrew said the hazing incidents involve more than one men's sports team at Blackfoot High School. Those summoned to appear in Magistrate court in Bingham County later this month will face multiple felony charges of forcible sexual penetration by use of a foreign object and misdemeanor charges of false imprisonment, according to court documents. Because all individuals charged had not been served Monday evening, the Morning News have withheld their names at this time.
According to a press release from the Blackfoot School District, review and emphasis of the district's Discipline Handbook and District policies regarding hazing and bullying during the fall resulted in students coming forward to report incidences of harassment, intimidation and bullying.
According to Board Policy 575, "students and staff are prohibited from engaging in any hazing activity, on or off school premises."
The investigation into the allegations of hazing is ongoing and additional victims or suspects may be identified in the coming months.
The Blackfoot School District defines intimidation, bullying, cyberbullying and sexual harassment as major discipline offenses. According to the press release from the district, the district is taking appropriate disciplinary actions.
As the story develops today, Morning News staff will post updates on our Web site — www.am-news.com — as appropriate.