King Philip High School football players forced teammates to box, hazing investigation finds

WRENTHAM, Mass — An investigation has found that upperclassmen football players at Wrentham’s King Philip Regional High School engaged in hazing by forcing their younger teammates to engage in boxing matches, school officials said in a letter to the community.

The school says the alleged hazing took place while the team was at a training camp in Naples, Maine from August 22-27 that the the school is weighing whether to allow offsite camps in the future.

While no students were hurt during the boxing matches, school officials called the practice “troubling and disturbing.”

“We would like to stress to the entire KP community that we take all reports and incidents of hazing very seriously. We will not tolerate any form of bullying, harassment or hazing. We aim to foster an inclusive, welcoming environment and the actions of those at the football camp completely contradict the work we are trying to do,” Principal Nicole Bottomley and Superintendent Rich Drolet wrote in the letter to the community.

School officials say the boxing matches met the legal definition of hazing outlined in the student handbook because it was “forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or other person.”

No coaches were present when the boxing matches took place, officials say.

Although some students took a greater lead in orchestrating the hazing, officials say so many people are involved and the behavior is so widespread and long-standing that there was a need to address the behavior with all members of the program.

Coaches and captains will take weekly mandated leadership training going forward.

Coaches, players and their families were interviewed during the course of the investigation.

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