Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Three Conestoga senior football players charged with sexual assault of freshman player – This is no rite of passage!

FootballA month ago, we learned that an extensive law enforcement investigation was underway at Conestoga High School after they got wind of hazing allegations. The investigation centered on ritual hazing by football players which occurred on the same day each week at the high school. Apparently some of the students were aware of the hazing and would deliberately avoid the gym at certain times.

Today we learned from Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan that three 17-yr. old senior football players, including the team captain, at Conestoga High School have been charged with an October 15 hazing incident where they allegedly penetrated a younger player with a broomstick after he refused to help other underclassmen clean the team locker room while wearing just their underwear. Criminal charges were filed against the three juveniles for “assault, conspiracy, unlawful restraint, terroristic threats and other offenses.”

According to Hogan, the football team had a tradition called “No Gay Thursday” where all “gay” behavior was allowed. Allegedly the team’s upperclassmen bullied the younger team members, often in sexually explicit or suggestive ways, during the weekly Thursday locker room hazing incidents.

The October 15 assault occurred after underclassmen were told to strip to their underwear and clean the high school locker room. The 14-year old victim stripped to his boxers but then reconsidered. When the high school freshman tried to leave the locker room, he was held down by his attackers and abused sexually with a broom handle. The prosecutor said that the three upperclassmen football players “will not face sexual assault charges because the law requires a motive of sexual gratification, which was not the case here.” I suggest that the law needs to change … this was rape.

Although Hogan said that there is no evidence that the coaches were aware of the assault, Conestoga’s head football coach John Vogan was suspended from all coaching activities pending the outcome of an internal investigation by the TE School District.

District Superintendent Dr. Richard Gusick has sent a letter to the T/E families, which stated that administrators will conduct a “thorough school-based investigation to determine whether code of conduct violations occurred and the awareness and supervision of the coaching staff.”

Some may view school football hazing as a rite of passage – sexual assault with a broom handle is rape. Bottom line, the TE community needs to hold the District’s administration, staff and school board accountable and demand answers. No one should be allowed to hide behind the curtain of “number one school district in the country”!

I suggest that the TE School Board members need to stop talking about school fencing and focus on what’s really important — sexual assault in the high school … the real safety risk to our children!

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  1. “I suggest that the TE School Board members need to stop talking about school fencing and focus on what’s really important — sexual assault in the high school … the real safety risk to our children!”

    YES. Please let us get our priories straight. This is horrific. Good job admin, coaches, etc. How do you feel now about the job you are doing? I could not live with myself if i knew that I let this happen under my watch.

    What are you going to do?

  2. So the Conestoga and TESD response is that the Athletic Director is working to turn things around??? Is this a joke? The Conestoga Athletic Director is THE person who failed to fulfill his duties. The coaching staff are only minimally capable of dealing with issues outside of “on the field coaching”. Aren’t the coaching staff mainly part time positions? The Athletic Director is in charge, he has failed miserably, and it has been ongoing for years…
    Let’s see some real accountability, let’s see some real commitment by the School Board and the Superintendent to admit the failures of administration and to develop a legitimate path toward improvement.
    Athletic Director must go!

    1. This is disgusting. This is why our society is so troubled, because those who are in charge are not held accountable for their lack of involvement. What is wrong with these boys who act this way and the coaches who ignore their responsibility? I hope that the school district does the right thing and prosecutes all of those individuals involved to the fullest extent. My thoughts and prayers go out to the victim and his family.

  3. Detectives appear to have met with a lot of kids and their parents. It was stunning to hear the charges even though rumors have been circulating for the last month.

    I am confused by comments from students and parents on social media and in personal conversations. Some people are disgusted and condemn the behavior with the attitude that the allegations are true and the boys involved need to be held accountable and the overall culture in the school needs a swift and radical overhall. I am surprised at how many question whether it really happened, stating that some football players and students had no knowledge of it and surely would have known had something this horrific happened.

    I know many men who played football in high school, many in my own family. From what they tell me, it is common for coaches not to go in locker rooms where boys behave in ways that would not pass as acceptable behavior in the classroom or other public places but are accepted as normal for that type of situation. Nothing sexual or abusive but not choir boy either.

    A Freshman made this allegation and it rightfully needed to be investigated. At this point, I was hoping for a quick resolution so as a School District we could make the necessary adjustments and move on.

    I get the sense we are more divided on the issue than ever and that folks have very strong opinions about it and what should happen next.

    In closing, I don’t know what to think. I’m stunned. My son attends a school in South Carolina to play baseball. He ran on the practice field today to hear all his team mates asking each other if they heard the news about the shocking allegations at the suburban Phil. high school called Conestoga High School.

    I told him to focus on his game so he can perform the best he can.

  4. The athletic director has a full time job. To be an assistant principal. The school district has FAILED our children by not rehiring a full time Athletic director when he retired years ago.
    If we are as competitive as we seem to be in sports, someone needs to be on top of all coaches, assistants, and players and code of conducts 100%.
    You can’t expect a full time administrator to be in charge of it all. Come on TE you can do better than this.
    All sorts of rumors are flying around. Remember these are kids. Kids make dumb mistakes. It is our duty to be here for them as life is full of crazy mistakes. Let’s make sports a safe haven and hazing or no hazing should not be tolerated. Everyone is innocent here until proven guilty.

  5. It is interesting that you would defend the person who, by the school’s own admission, “emphasizes expectations of conduct, including zero tolerance for hazing” – yet never actually took any effective actions toward that goal.

    With regard to your claims he was overextended, Did he actually identify that he was overextended and couldn’t fulfill his duties? Was he forced into this role, or did he willingly accept the position? Did he ever request additional resources that were denied?

    It is our duty now to put people in place that are capable and willing to fix the issues and ensure that they never happen again. The current athletic director who failed miserably is not the person to lead the corrective action.

    1. Stoga Parent,

      I’m not defending the A.D. but I know that he does emphasize expectations of conduct , including zero tolerance for hazing.

      My child is an athlete at CHS who played a fall sport and will hopefully play a Spring Sport. After the first meeting of the fall sport, I asked how it went and my child said that the A.D. came by and give a talk about anti hazing and how it is not and will be tolerated at CHS. I remember this vividly because I was surprised because my child’s sport is probably the least likely sport to find hazing. I remember us chuckling over it. If he gave a speech to this team, I’m sure he gave a speech to all teams.

      This is not on the A.D., and I’m not a big fan, btw, but fair is fair. Its not his job nor is it possible for him or ten people for that matter, to police every locker room of every sport at CHS. Over half the kids at CHS participate in a sport.

      Accusations of ranting and raving and disrespect to students have nothing to do with this particular incident.

      I believe that we need strong leadership, people who believe in values and who are committed to high standards of not only academic achievement but personal conduct for themselves and all district employees.

      That would take care of everything.

      1. Actually the disrespect, the student intimidation, and overall actions of the athletic director have EVERYTHING to do with this incident. As I said before, the athletic director himself is a bully – so the plan to bully the kids into not being bullies themselves will actually have the opposite effect.

  6. First my heart goes out to the victim and his family. It took a great deal of courage to speak up and stop this madness before another person got hurt. What troubles me the most is the fact that NO ONE in that locker room tried to stop the violence or call for help. Do they take an “Oath of Silence” when signing up for a sport? We all need to stop looking to blame someone for this crime and come up with a solution to prevent this from ever happening again. Is it the school’s duty to teach right from wrong ?

  7. I suggest that the TE School Board members need to stop talking about school fencing and focus on what’s really important — sexual assault in the high school … the real safety risk to our children! You are spot on Pattye…

    I would add that the Board is more interested in spending taxpayer money on fences and maintenance buildings rather that attending to the education and actions of our students. I wonder when the last time the Superintendent dropped in to the locker room after a game or practice to rub elbows with the boys. The folks on West Valley Road sit on the fannies in meeting after meeting and never sit in a classroom – or better yet – run a classroom – or visit the after school activities.

    A vice Chairman of the Board of Directors at a Bank I worked for — and he was also my direct boss- told me a bit of advice that I will never forget — and it dealt with RESPONSIBILITY — He said that “the best protection is INSPECTION” — and one should never be found just sitting on their fannies while all hell is braking out under their watch. And never rely solely on they words of underlings that all is ok…. stop in and visit — observe —
    have place cards or measurement tools in place to monitor all activities. Yes we were charged with protecting pennies — but in total several billions of dollars of other folks money — the folks on West Valley are charged with the education and welfare of our children. So — while they sit on their fannies and are more concerned with four foot fences all hell is breaking out inside locker rooms and no one seems to know anything about it, including all of the sports authority folks — but where was the Principal and the Superintendent. Claiming ignorance is a cop out.

  8. I am not defending anyone. I am suggesting as a school district they failed to hire an active full time athletic director. They combined the role with someone who has a full time administration job. Isn’t it obvious he’s over extended if we have themed days to haze? Have you ever gone to the athletic office? The line of students makes it difficult to be inside while you wait. They are waiting to see the assistant principal. So before you blame him perhaps you should blame the district in absorbing job roles.
    It seems lacking a full time athletic director has lead to some serious allegations.

    1. He is a poor manager and leader, not overextended. This man yells and rants at the students continuously, he tries to manage through intimidation. HE IS A BULLY. This is the issue, his example is exactly what perpetuates these issues. He has no respect for the students and they have no respect for him. Just ask.

  9. The present athletic director was compensated for his additional duties. My daughter played three sports at Conestoga for 4 years, and never saw a principal, or an athletic director in the locker rooms. Honestly, it is ridiculous to think that they would be in any locker room. All of the teams at Conestoga have head and numerous assistant coaches, all receive a stipend for there duties. Maybe one of the 7 coaches on the football team can police the locker rooms!

  10. This is not “locker room behavior”. I’s anti-social and criminal. The perpetrators are without conscience, without empathy, and without a moral sense. This was a brutal act of sadistic rape. Though I do not have all the facts, what I have read about “Gay Thursdays” suggests to me these perpetrators were were having a homosexual crisis of their own, legitimizing the acting out of these impulses without owning them by designating a special day just for that purpose. Those who would not partake were violated, bullied, intimidated. This is a very mentally sick mindset. The act of brutally suffered by the victim we do know about, should be prosecuted as a hate crime whether or not the victim was gay.

    The young man who was so brutally violated will never be the same. Other students knew. Other adults and school personnel knew. The coach had to have known and the athletic director as well. If the administration didn’t know, they should have. It was going on for years from what I understand. So what in our school’s culture would allow this to happen and to continue? What in our community’s culture would allow this to happen? The victims and their families will be never be the same…We don’t know how many victims there were.

    As one of the writers above mentioned – we need to spend less money on fences and more on developing real and ACCOUNTABLE programs to address cultural change in our schools in which there is a zero tolerance for bullying and which sends a message to our children that if they see it, they say it and that adults and students will do something effective about it. Our children need to be taught to embrace and protect victims of bullying and to expose and reject the bullies. No longer should we accept – “that’s middle school” “that’s locker room stuff” “it’s their age” or a myriad of other excuses. No more cover-ups. No more denial. This is a stain on our community and victims who have suffered. The first thing I suggest, is a district based hotline where children can call in if they are victims of bullying. Make it anonymous if need be. We need mental health programs in the schools run by mental health professionals, not school personnel who can develop programs to identify high risk children (victims and bullies) and provide the help they and their families need.

  11. Dr. Gusick,

    Your letter to parents on the TE school district website is infuriating to say the least. This is no an isolated incident of “hazing”. You said “… we will conduct a thorough school-based investigation. The process will be designed to determine whether or not code of conduct violations occurred, the awareness and level of supervision provided by the coaching staff, and what further measures can promote inclusive and respectful behavior. It is always wise to consider fresh ideas to confront serious challenges” WHETHER OR NOT CODE OF CONDUCT VIOLATIONS OCCURRED?

    Excuse me Dr. Gusick, this incident is not just a :Code of Conduct” violation – it is a culture of look the other way, if you don’t tell, we won’t ask and paying lip service to the community so we get off your back I’m sorry. This doesn’t cut it. This is a systemic problem – a big one. This isn’t just one incident. I saw as a parent and as a consultant to parents how dismissive the administration is about bullying.

    You say, “As with all disciplinary matters, we work directly with students and their parents and apply firm but fair consequences if such action is warranted. Student disciplinary outcomes will remain private, and we will offer support to any student experiencing undue stress related to this event. Counselors are ready as always to assist all students.”

    This does doesn’t cut it either. I don’t need to know the names of the students involved, I do need to know as a taxpayer and a parent what consequences have occurred. Transparency to the taxpayers and our children over the privacy of the school and perpetrators. I do not trust that the school district will take the matter seriously. I don’t even think you can comprehend it. A slap on the wrist and a sweep over? I don’t think so.

    Since the taxpayers of this community will be paying for any lawsuits against the district we demand to know what will be done to ensure this does not happen again and how you intend to keep each and every child in the district safe while in the schools. I have treated victims of abuse and assault. The scars are everlasting, treatment can go on for years. Some opt for suicide. The school years are the most painful and the most enduring. I think it’s time for brainstorming and action. Talk with us.

    1. Thank you. My child was bullied so badly in middle school that she considered suicide. The district never took the bullying seriously. We took a loss on our home and ran from the district. The new school isn’t rated number one academically but the kids are so much kinder. I wish we never lived there.

  12. The ‘No-Gay Thursday’ alleged hazing/assault charges against 3 football players at Conestoga High School is now national news — sadly, I have seen articles in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, New York Daily News, etc. Not a proud day for the school district.

    I have read some comments claiming that the alleged hazing/assault did not happen and that the charges against the football players are linked to DA Tom Hogan’s political aspirations. I have known Tom for over 10 years and there’s absolutely no way he would use bogus charges against three teenage boys for personal political gain. With 100% confidence, the District Attorney and his office dotted the ‘Is’ and crossed the ‘Ts’ before filing these charges.

    If you are a student, parent or alumni of Conestoga HS, it has to be very hard to watch this unfold but the notion that criminal charges were fabricated is naive.

  13. Yet another black eye for TESD. Can this district please stop boasting about rankings and address the despicable behavior going on here? I am an alumni who attended K-12 and frankly, when I saw this headline, I immediately assumed – conestoga! This school and district had always had an underlying hostile feel and had always turned a head to bullying. Again, more focused on BS ranking than the actual students.

    I had the fortunate opportunity to relocate back to the area from the west coast a few years ago and would not even consider this district. I ended up buying in a neighboring district and must say my kids are happy and thriving – something I could never ever say during my 13 years in TE. I also want to point out that there are so many families in the area that are conestoga alumni that specfically sought out neighboring districts to avoid putting their children through what they went through. The middle school scandal, now this??? What’s next?? All current families care about is posting links to websites ranking this district best in the county. Really? If a district where 11 year old are taking naked selfies and no gay Thursday is taking place is best in the country than we have serious problems??? But go ahead – go take the niche survey about how rosy things are…..

    1. We do have serious problems in our country. Things like this happen all over- rich, poor, city, suburban, or rural. No matter where you are there are issues with bullying, race, morality, drugs, etc. What you hear or see in the media or how close you are to the situations in your community affect what you are aware of. Regardless, these things are happening and will continue to happen. Socioeconomic status doesn’t matter… There are issues at all levels. Their SE status may influence the way they manifest, handled, or viewed, but you are neive to think there are major issues with our children in all areas and walks of life. It is the job of the families, communities, schools, government to take steps to make necessary changes. Instead of that we get people who love to complain and comment rather than act.

  14. CHS has an obligation to supervise students. The girls locker room had an attendant during the school day. Why wasn’t someone in authority or at least an adult in the boy’s locker room? The head football coach and Asst. Principal/AD are more concerned with politics and their own jobs than protecting students. The head coach is still working as a security guard at CHS. He cannot be trusted to protect our children. Shouldn’t coaches be certified teachers trained in behavior management and modification?

  15. I am reading on other cites where school policy or rules may prohibit coaches from entering locker rooms while boys are changing.

    Many assistant coaches have jobs off school property making it impossible for them to supervise students.

  16. As a current student of Conestoga, I can tell you that you are dead wrong. At Conestoga I find myself consistently amazed by the talent level and ambition of the students and the passion of the teachers. Your comments are an unfair characterization reflecting your time in the district. In general, TESD is a thriving school district ripe with incredible kids who go on to do great things. For your to take two incidences and use them to characterize and shame my school is asinine. Those two incidents and the actions of the district in those instances are not as cut and dry as you make them out to be. As far as the hazing scandal, it’s terrible, and these kids deserve to be in trouble, but the whole thing is being exaggerated and sensationalized. As far as the other scandal: maybe you don’t want to here this, but that goes on at every school in the country. Whether you like it or not, that’s the reality, so don’t single out Conestoga. Things may not always be “rosy”, but all I know is that this school has set me and so many others up to succeed in a way that other districts couldn’t. Think before criticizing.

    1. They deserve to be in trouble? Really?

      It’s statements like that that worry me as a te parent.

      If the allegations are true, Jeff, they deserve to be in jail. Stop the excuses. An elite wealthy school should be able to live up to higher standards of morality and decency as well as scholarship.

      1. You are trying to twist his words… You must work in politics. What he is trying to say is a handful of despicable choices by a handful of students does not deserve to characterize, stereotype, and destroy an entire school. At every workplace, in every community, all throughout the world there are people who are immoral, inmature, etc. I know plenty of students and teachers at Stoga who are amazing people all around and he is saying that for you to group everyone together is irresponsible.

        Look at my first sentence, I said you are twisting his words, you must work in politics. I made a statement that generalizes all politicians as manipulative. We know that’s not the case, but because there are so many examples of that in our world and a large number in the group is that way, it has become representative of the whole. The amount of good done by students at Conestoga far exceeds the amount of bad, and until that statement shifts in truth, it is unfair and irresponsible to characterize the group by the actions of a few. Those students who performed the acts and the coaches and administrators who failed to fulfill the responsibilities are the ones to blame and criticize.

      2. Lisa,

        I understand, appreciate and respect your outrage.

        We need more citizens like you to stand up and demand accountability and transparency from our leaders.

        After consulting with the victim and his family, news reports say that Hogan said the decision was made, not to charge the players as adults.

        The TESD says it will conduct it’s own top priority investigation.

  17. Sadistic, deviant sexual behavior, including sodomy with a broomstick is “gratifying” for some people. For the CC District Attorney to not charge the alleged perpetrators with rape because the component of gratification was absent is ridiculous and wrong. They got some pleasure out of it. Why else would they have done it?
    I can’t help but wonder why the CCDA omitted the rape charge and reduced the charges prior to a plea deal.

  18. Everyone here is commenting on the coaches and athletic director, all of which deserve negative attention, but let’s not forget about the kids who performed these horrible acts. They can’t be left out of the discussion and become lost in this post that has become about the school district as a whole. Let’s remember that a group of kids did horrible things to other kids. 17 year olds may not be adults but they should know that putting their genitals on a peer’s head and shoving a broom handle up his butt are wrong.

  19. People are overreacting to this. This type of stuff has been happening in lorckerrooms all across the country for many many years. I went to a high school that competed with Conestoga in sports, and while no behavior that could be considered “rape” took place in our lorckerrooms, there was plenty of obscene horseplay, but the same type of stuff buddies do to one another at someone’s house/party/lockerroom. Did this get taken too far? Most certainly… But the “no gay Thursday” thing…. behavior like that takes place EVERYWHERE. People can deny it all they want, but I can bet that a number of people who are reading this have taken part in or knew about things like “no gay Thursday.” With that said, the students should be punished for the actions with the broom. The horseplay got taken way too far and it needs to be known that behavior like that is not acceptable and won’t be tolerated.

  20. First, the responsibility for students when parents are not in the room during school hours and activities is placed with the teachers, staff, coaches and administrative persons under a theory of the District stepping into the shoes of the parents. Here, the students were under District supervision.

    Second, I have no doubt a violent act occurred because our District Attorney, Tom Hogan could not make frivolous charges without evidence and facts. He is a proven DA with an outstanding reputation for enforcing the law.

    Third, in a situation where older students are dominating newer younger students, it is highly unlikely a younger student will speak out for fear of their own safety.

    No doubt something happened on the District’s clock. What does this say about TE’s culture towards LGBT students? Toward gay students — toward any defenseless student?

    Step up TE school board and Superintendent Gusick. What if this was your child? Tell the truth to protect our students, hold those accountable for violence and discrimination. This is a no brainer.

    Clean house of bad practices and policies. Tell the truth.

    Protect our students with as much gusto and time as you protect jobs, benefits and pay raises.

    Protect students and follow your code of ethics. There is no excuse for lies and stalling when it comes to violence and discrimination against defenseless minors.

    The Department of Education should be notified to create a secure safe system. The PIAA should also be put on notice to monitor our current athletic program.

    When it comes to a child’s safety what is the hold up? The police department has investigated and provided under evidence under the law to file charges. Do the right thing.

  21. A broomstick forced into a person’s rectum (anus) and further into the colon can perforate the colon and cause a person to bleed out (serious blood loss or death) and/or lead to sepsis. This is an intentional act to cause harm and pain upon another person. This violent act could lead to death. It destroys a person’s self worth and dignity.

    Should it be an accepted locker room or societal practice? It is considered an assault under Pennsylvania law. Google it. It is 2016.

  22. I guess google locker room safety procedures:I thought students used cell phones to tape others all the time?
    Some ideas:
    – Limit the number of students and ages of students in the locker at a time, change and shower at home
    – Provide self defense training for all students
    – Provide emergency blue light,
    – Provide code words, confidential hot lines, safe zones for reporting abuse or unsafe practices in real time
    – Give access to 911 and cell phones or emergency panic buttons in the locker rooms
    – Provide trained security.
    – Ask what goes on in the locker room and if people are uncomfortable at any time.

  23. Dear Ms. Ellis,
    Thank you for your insight and wisdom. I too share your concerns. Although, private deals and plea bargains may be private, the District stance and written policy on this violence and discrimination are public.

    Likewise, the opinion of the Department of Education and the PIAA should be made public or the public should make applications for the right to know process.

    A clean honest sweep to protect children and create a safer programs is needed. Those children protected by the American Disabilities Act and or Individual Education plans should be treated per their needs and rights.

    It does not sound to me like you want to know what persons were prosecuted and what punishment was given per incident. You are not asking to open student’s private records. It appears you want to know what practices and policies will be put in place in prevent violence and discrimination and hate from continuing at school. You want help for all involved to perform better and safer. This would include teaching kids on and off the fields. I agree.

    The student deals and records will remain with those who are held culpable and follow them forever. The sad truth is unless the pleas are for lesser charges with remediation and probation, those convicted of crimes will be scarred forever.

    I do not condone criminal behavior but I do ask for programs to set these kids straight. The violence on other students with the so called “gay” behavior is a cry for help. It reeks of “help me” on so many levels.The court should force those convicted to do the time in outpatient settings and oblige students to get better and not be placed in prisons. Students should pay for services from their own pockets. Programs should be more than 6 months in length.

  24. Why haven’t parents of athletes spoken up to let the administration know of this man’s behaviour? We are all accountable if we don’t step up when we know something.

  25. There is a culture of arrogance at Conestoga, especially among some athletes. This is aided and abetted from the time they are a young ages by sports-crazy parents who politic on their behalf for years so that they make travel teams, etc. T/E is full of sports-crazy parents who want to set their kid up right for Conestoga. Is it really any wonder that something like this happened?

    1. I have been reading the above comments and have to admit that I’m stunned by some of the vitriolic comments and responses. I’m beginning to think that people who read this blog are looking to bash the community whenever they can. As to the sports-crazy parents…yes, there are definitely those, as well as academic-crazy parents, music-crazy parents, theatre-crazy parents…that’s the community we live in, especially with a 2000+ student high school. But there are just as many parents who only want the best out of the education system for their children.
      As to the comment “is it really any wonder that something like this happened”…That’s quite a leap.
      And whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Can people stop judging until the facts come out, whatever they may be? Should a whole district’s reputation, as well as a coach whose livelihood has been snatched away, be forever tarnished?

      1. Amen! Sometimes it can be difficult to read this blog for that very reason. Just like those students who committed the acts are in the extreme minority, those in the community who actually comment on this blog are in the extreme minority as well. And, a large number of those who comment tend to have extreme views or take extreme angles on many of the posts. I stopped reading this blog for almost a year for that very reason and this latest story may push me away again. Just know Stafford Neighbor that most people in our community do understand the many sides and perspectives of most issues that face our district and townships

      2. amen!! Kinda always remember the Duke rape case…. Lets see what happens… Merc… over the top response….as the story broke… Cooler heads need to prevail…

  26. How long until the 3 attackers are expelled? I’ve got to imagine that is the only acceptable punishment from the school, no?

  27. This is a horrific case of gang rape and brutality! My feelings are with the victim and I hope this boy will get all help to deal with this terrible experience.
    Now to the CC District Attorney: What is going on in the mind of this man? He denies to charge the alleged perpetrators with rape because he does not see the component of gratification. How can he assume that there was no gratification? His role is to protect crime victims and charge perpetrators to the fullest extend. The alleged rapists must have had some kind of gratification. I bet they were not the ones suffering in the locker room. Most likely they ware have some kind of pleasure and making fun of the victim. Those guys disgust me as well as the statements of the CCDA

  28. So today the athletic director demonstrated he continues to believe that intimidation and bullying of the students is the solution – not the cause.

    In his typical demeaning fashion he has kicked off the spring sports season today by ranting and raving at the sports teams. This is not a pep talk, this is not defining the rules, this is yelling and screaming. This is what ZERO respect looks like – both directions. This guy is an ineffective and tyrannical man.

    Why do the students and parents put up with this from this guy? Why does the staff allow it? Why won’t the administration fix it? We are coming to the school board meeting – the board and administration have some explaining to do. Time for Boyle to hit the road.

  29. I totally agree this district needs to have a full time athletic director. Someone with passion for sports, and a vision for respect and someone who knows the kids, coaches and allows good game.

    As far as everyone bashing the students here or on social media. There are a lot of sides to this story. Most of all, these are children. 17 is a ‘big’ child, but we expect them to behave properly. We expect them to be coached and managed with respect.
    We don’t want to hear about hazing.

    Do you remember the Duke Lacrosse story?

    It is no help to anyone here to point fingers and name call. Until anyone is proven guilty. It’s easy to vent our frustration at our district and at these nasty allegations. Yet for now that is all they are. So until anyone is proven guilty please show some respect.

  30. This district does not need a full time athletic director. How would this resolve the issue?

    The problem is that the A.D has no power. He is a figure head. He gives speeches to kids. He has no authority to hire or fire coaches. His hands are tied. Decisions are made to protect and defend jobs of employees first.

  31. I believe the DA’s statement that this was not a sexual assault should be contested. See PA laws on the web site:

    I’m not a lawyer, but wish someone would look into this. The official definition of “DEVIATE SEXUAL INTERCOURSE” seems to fit this crime. It defines it as:”Sexual intercourse per os or per anus between human beings and any form of sexual intercourse with an animal. The term also includes penetration, however slight, of the genitals or anus of another person with a foreign object for any purpose other than good faith medical, hygienic or law enforcement procedures.” This certainly describes the situation that occurred.

    The following also is part of the law as stated on that web site: Ҥ 3123. Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse.
    (a) Offense defined.–A person commits a felony of the first degree when the person engages in deviate sexual intercourse with a complainant:
    (1) by forcible compulsion;”

    Can someone explain why this DA would claim this is not a sexual offense? It doesn’t make sense to me! It sounds like what these animals committed was DEVIATE SEXUAL INTERCOURSE by FORCIBLE COMPULSION which is a FIRST DEGREE FELONY. IMO, they should be charged as adults and put in jail.

  32. If anything, this will hurt Hogan’s political aspirations. for him to claim that this is NOT a sexual assault is ludicrous. I am in Chester County but thankfully not in this school district and if these reports and the manner in which he has handled it are true and reported accurately, he will never again get my vote. Please see the post in which I quoted the definition of deviate sexual intercourse which is a first class felony in PA and tell me what you think.

    1. I think that you should take a deep breath.

      As I stated above,

      After consulting with the victim and his family, news reports say that Hogan said the decision was made, not to charge the players as adults.

      The victim reported it to his Dad, who reported it to the school who reported it to police, who rightly investigated, charges were filed and now we wait patiently and without judgement to see how it plays out in a court of law.

  33. I might be behind a little bit on this thread, but explain to me how a full-time athletic director would have made a difference in this issue? Would he have given a rousing speech on the negatives to attacking a teammate in a high school locker room? Who are you suggesting that the AD monitor the locker rooms? And in regards to the Duke lacrosse story, that was grown men at an off-campus party, I don’t think it has any correlation to this story.

  34. so perhaps the student who was assaulted exaggerated a bit? this kid has been involved with the texting incident. Im starting to think, that while not exonerating anyone, there is more than meets the eye here…

  35. Walt, the AD is a jack….. I knew it from the first encounter I had spring Lax season 2011.
    Bad first impression and yet accurate..on many levels this man is not eqiupped to be AD… or vice principal. His communication skills with the parents are abysmal.

    perhaps no one else wanted the job… maybe the board knows…

  36. Any athletic director would have:

    1) Set a proper example of respect to and for the students.
    2) He would not just rant empty rules about what is not acceptable behavior. He would establish actual guidelines and procedures to ensure safety of all of the athletes. It is not that difficult.

    This actually raises a good question for our board and the administration – what policies and procedures were in place to protect athlete safety in the locker room free from hazing, etc? There must be something right? How is it that Coach Vogan was suspended but no one has articulated what established policy or procedure he failed to follow??

  37. It’s unfair at this point to speculate whether the student exaggerated or not. I keep hearing parents say over and over that the ‘kid lacks credibility’. As a parent, what type of example is that setting? I certainly hope that my children will always come to me or another adult if they have to tell me something, especially if it’s of the magnitude of the allegations. If a child thinks no one will believe them, or everyone will question whether or not they are telling the truth, they may keep quiet. Please think about this. Put kids before protecting the reputation of the accusers and/or school. Obviously, the broomstick issue is one of many (albeit most severe) issues related to this case.

  38. Wow. You seem to have a personal problem with Dr. Boyle. I too am a Stoga parent. I have two kids involved in Spring Sports. After reading your comments I had to ask them about Dr. Boyle’s address to the athletes. My two children along with their friends all had great things to say. They said they felt proud to be students and athletes for CHS.
    They thought his words were inspiring, they said many other positive things about Dr. Boyle’s presentation to the spring athletes. What do you have against Dr. Boyle?? All of your posts are a direct shot against him. From what my children say he basically had two full time jobs. First as an Assistant Principal and all the duties that come along with that position and also as the AD. For whatever reason it is obvious from your posts that you have a personal vendetta against him.

  39. Your children said “he basically had two full time jobs”??? I do not believe you. I also don’t believe that your children or their friends find his words or actions inspiring – that is absurd.

    The man is a tyrant and all of the students (and staff) know it – and most parents too.

  40. Just the facts – no drama – no hype!

    At Conestoga High School in Berwyn, three 17 year old football players, who we can reasonably assume were “big and strong” sodomized a 14 year old who refused to participate in the “No Gay Thursday” cleaning of the locker room in his underwear.

    You must picture this. In order for this heinous act to occur at least two of the perpetrators had to hold the 14 year old while the third ripped off his pants and underwear and proceeded to commit an unthinkable act (no need for further description.) Can any one reading this imagine the gut wrenching fear and pain that this 14 year old endured? The take-away here is that those 17 year olds are adults and knew what they were doing and should be charged as adults. Anything less is (dare I say it!) a dereliction of duty by District Attorney Hogan. While it is important to be compassionate towards the 14 year old, to understand his emotional pain and even embarrassment, it is equally important that the 3 perpetrators get more than just a slap on the wrist. I’m sorry, this is just not acceptable to me and so many others.

    Furthermore: “No Gay Thursday” is, according to the article in the DLN an event of “long tradition.” Long tradition – what?! Really?! If that’s the case it is something that the Superintendent, the Principal and most likely every teacher and student at Conestoga knew about. Remember high school, a hothouse for the propagation of gossip and what is going on at the school?

    As a practice of “long tradition” the Administration, at all levels knew or should have known of it. If the Administration, from the Superintendent down the administrative chain to a first year teacher denies knowing about “No Gay Thursday” they are guilty of gross administrative negligence and should resign one and all. If they know about it, and how could they not have, and did not prohibit it in the strongest terms, then they tacitly approved of it and the hazing that went with it and they are guilty of gross administrative negligence and should resign one and all. Their denials, on either scenario are insincere at best and frighteningly incompetent at worst.

  41. You make great points by Second of 4 Generations to Attend TE.

    Dr. Gusick, in his letter states that the District will conduct a top priority investigation. Administrators are not going to resign and they are impossible to fire. There is no mechanism for firing Administrators. They are evaluated by themselves! Would you fire yourself?

    There is a real connection between the Administrators and coaches and the administrators who will investigate them. The Supt. isn’t going to want to disrupt relationships by angering administrators, lowering morale or alienating those around him.

    The Board should hire an independent investigator to come in and conduct a third party investigation. That’s the only way to do it.

  42. This blog was brought to my attention by a TE resident. I live and teach in a neighboring school district and I am horrified by the public words of adults regarding an unimaginable situation among children. This is not the time to find blame among those who were not involved. This is the time to seek the truth, help the victim(s), and counsel the aggressors. Adults complain in this day and age about children and teens texting too much, and spending too much time in non-verbal communication. How about spending more time talking with and listening to the children in your own lives instead of wasting time spreading possible inaccuracies and hurtful opinions? Children learn best by example. How are we doing?

    1. M Anne says “counsel the aggressors.” Are you out of your mind? What they did (if as described by the DA) is a felony. There is no “counsel.” They should have been suspended, then expelled and then prosecuted as adults.

  43. Do people reading and posting know the full Duke lacrosse story, and how it was based off a lie and ruined many lives FOREVER?
    Did the law change to “guilty until proven innocent”?
    Did this already go to trial?
    Were the accused proven guilty in court already?
    Do police, lawyers or DA’s use misleading questioning tactics to get people to get what they want them to say?
    Is there a reason the accuser was expelled from the school?
    Is the accuser the same student that was “sexting” images of his classmate just the year before and expelled from TE?
    What is the character of the accuser?
    What is the character of the accuser’s father?
    Is there some kind of motive this father and son may have to “get back at Conestoga”?
    Why would the father choose not to press sexual assault charges to the fullest degree possible if this REALLY happened to his son?
    Are there medical records proving this alleged act happened to the accuser?
    Is the character of the 3 accused anything but positive if you ask their teachers and coaches?
    Do coaches take into account leadership qualities and character traits before picking captains for their sport’s teams?
    Should coaches stand in the locker room and watch players change?
    What do the players say about the character of the coaches?
    Is there possible evidence that will prove the 3 accused did not commit this horrible act?
    Why did the accuser not say anything until he was expelled?
    What is the motive of the DA with all of this?
    Does the DA know there may be a possible attorney general or some other political office opening soon?
    Did the DA check attendance records or school videos to see if the accuser was there that day or going towards the locker rooms?
    Will all of us apologize to the accused, Dr Boyle, Coach Vogan and the TE community if this was all based off a lie?
    Will the media and DA apologize if this was all based off a lie?
    Would we all believe there were witches in Salem Massachusetts if we were told so?

    After reading many posts in this thread, it appears you have all done this research and already know these answers… Right??

  44. I would question whether an investigator hired by the Board would truly be “independent.” Any person in authority who even had an inkling that these egregious behaviors were occurring and said nothing must be held accountable. It is IMPOSSIBLE to believe that no one in authority knew anything.

    I wonder if someone in Harrisburg connected to the legislature or the Department of Education shouldn’t hire an independent investigator. I think they should be contacted to determine who has oversight of these types of situations. Our schools are funded by PA taxpayers, both local and statewide, and we deserve to know that those who could have prevented this are held accountable for this horrendous situation. Any investigation should include suggestions for preventing a situation of this sort from ever happening again, in ANY school. One suggestion that seems obvious is that these immature individuals must be “chaperoned” while in their locker rooms. It is unfathonable that coaches purportedly aren’t watching over them to prevent not only hazing but sexual crimes of the type that occurred at Conestoga.

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