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UPDATE: Football players suspended following 'hazing incident' at Tamaqua Area, trial to follow

The school board president said the district handed down suspensions to several players involved, but their ultimate fate still needs to be determined.

TAMAQUA, Pa. — Players from the Tamaqua Area High School football team were involved in what school officials called a "hazing incident" on November 4. 

School Board President Larry Wittig said it happened inside the football house on the edge of campus. 

It's a home the district purchased and renovated to store pads, helmets, and equipment. 

The next day, Tamaqua forfeited its playoff game, ending the team's season. 

The news surprised Charlotte Fritz; her son plays in the band.

"I had received a text message or a reminder message from the band director saying that the game was canceled," she said.

Wittig said the district and local law enforcement quickly launched investigations into the incident. 

Now, multiple players are facing ten-day suspensions.

"Several students have been placed on temporary suspension. However, that's not the end game," Wittig said. "The process works its way through with regard to adjudication through a hearing process with a committee of the board."

Wittig said the accused players will go on trial in front of board members to decide if they'll be expelled. 

Players can defend themselves or have a lawyer present.

"What we have authority to do is expel, and that's it," Wittig said. "The legal authority will certainly get into any criminal processes if there are any."

Fritz believes the administration and school board are doing what's necessary to address the incident, and she still feels safe sending her son to school, but she expects the district to make changes, so this never happens again.

"Going forward, they're most likely going to have a lot of supervision," Fritz said. "If they're even be allowed back in the football house, I don't know, but you need supervision when you have kids for sure."

Wittig said the hearings have yet to be scheduled, but he hopes they happen before suspensions are over. 

The Tamaqua Area School Board is set to meet again Tuesday night, the parents' first chance for public comment since the incident.

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