Putnam City Public Schools facing civil lawsuit over alleged hazing ritual

OKLAHOMA CITY –A local school district is facing a lawsuit after a teenage boy was allegedly assaulted during a hazing ritual last year.

Officials with the Putnam City Campus Police Department say that school officials received an email notification about the alleged assault through an online bullying reporting system in late September.

The email stated that an anonymous student witnessed an assault that happened on Sept. 28 in the Putnam City West football locker room.

The anonymous student said he witnessed the victim being carried from the freshman side of the locker room to the varsity side. The witness said he then saw someone “grab a broomstick and shove the stick up [the victim’s] rectum.”

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On Oct. 1, school officials started contacting students and staff to investigate the report. As information was being gathered, “more reports were coming in that the assault occurred,” read the report.

School officials met with the students listed in the email report and determined that an older student “aided in the assault by holding [the victim’s] hands down while the victim was assaulted by others with a broomstick.”

“All four confessed verbally and in written statements to participating in the assault of [the victim] with the broomstick,” campus police officials said in the report.

The suspects said in written statements that the broomstick, or “the stick,” has been passed down from class to class. Police say it’s a form of hazing referred to as “brooming,” and “normally involves students chasing each other around with the broomstick.”

However, this is the first report of an assault occurring from hazing within the football program.

Now, it seems that Putnam City Public Schools will have to defend itself in court.

According to NewsOK, the father of the victim has filed a lawsuit, seeking more than $75,000 from the school district.

The lawsuit claims that the school district was "specifically aware" of similar actions in the past but "failed to establish, adapt, implement and/or follow any rules, policies, procedures, code of conduct or protocols to assure students or athletes could participate safely and without fear of the same event occurring again to students."

The lawsuit also claims that a coach knew that the assault was imminent, but did nothing to stop it from occurring.

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