Wall hazing allegations: Uncle speaks exclusively with News 12 about family pain, anguish
For the first time News 12 is hearing directly from a relative of one of the alleged hazing victims at Wall Township High School. The uncle spoke exclusively with News 12 about the pain and anguish their family is going through.
The news comes as a large crowd is expected tonight in Wall Township as the board of education is set to hold a public meeting for the first time since allegations of hazing among several football team members rocked the community.
After speaking with the uncle, they tell News 12 they are worried the school is going to "sweep it under the rug” after reading the statement put out by the school late last week.
On Friday, in a letter addressed to the Wall Township community, the superintendent wrote, “I am aware of many social media posts and media reports that are grounded in rumor. This circulation of misinformation is compounding an already difficult and challenging situation. Contributing to this type of messaging is hurtful to the students, school community, and to the greater Wall Township community."
The uncle says it's extremely upsetting to hear the school using this sort of language. They also say the school, parents, and students knew about the allegations for weeks, and it wasn't until media reports surfaced that action was taken.
“He's going to carry these scars with him forever and for the school to try and downplay this like you can’t believe everything you hear,” says the uncle. “Well, you can’t believe everything you hear but you can certainly believe everything you see.”
The uncle says at Wall's most recent game back on the Nov. 5, hardly anyone was in attendance. The relative says that was a silent protest for what they felt was inaction by the district.
“There’s a handful of kids out there that as I've said they’ve been hurt,” says the uncle. “They've been crushed. Their families have been crushed. The pain that this has caused his mom and dad rips me to the core. So, what can they (the district) do? They need to come clean, give it the attention that it truly deserves and not to sweep it under the rug.”
News 12 first reported the hazing allegations the following Tuesday afternoon, followed by the off campus sexual assault allegations later last week. Authorities are in possession of at least one video allegedly showing hazing occurring inside the locker room. The victim's uncle spoke with News 12 a short time ago.
"When you first watched that video what went through your mind?"
"I almost got physically sick,” says the uncle” These aren't allegations, this is something that is very real, something terrible. It was a sexual abuse that took place and I don't wish that type of pain and anguish on anyone, let alone on a kid who's just trying to play a sport that he loves."
Tonight's school board meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. inside the high school auditorium. The superintendent is expected to address the investigation directly.
Wall Township High School has since canceled its annual Thanksgiving football game against Manasquan, ending its season.