Westside superintendent releases new details on hazing investigation

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The Westside Consolidated School District has released new details surrounding allegations of hazing in its football program.

Superintendent Scott Gauntt told Region 8 News on Tuesday that an outside investigator has been looking into the claims "for unbiased truth."

During the course of the investigation, Gauntt said the investigator talked with more than 40 students. He determined, according to Gauntt, that the activity was student initiated and student led.

Two coaches were placed on administrative leave following that investigation. However, the investigation revealed the coaching staff had nothing to do with the inception or activity of bullying or hazing.

Superintendent Gauntt said "each student involved will be dealt with accordingly per the student handbook for whatever role they played," but no expulsions will take place at this time.

He told Region 8 News that the coaching staff and faculty members will go through additional training on bullying to be able to better recognize hazing or bullying.

"Westside values all students and values their right to come to school to enjoy their educational environment and setting without the threat of bullying," Gauntt said.

The school could not yet release how many students were involved in the allegations.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Watch Region 8 News On Demand: On your Desktop | On your Mobile device

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android