Clark-Shawnee investigating baseball team allegations

Clark-Shawnee local school leaders and Clark County deputies are investigating allegations that involve players on the Shawnee High School baseball team.

Superintendent Gregg Morris declined to go into specifics about the allegations but confirmed to the Springfield News-Sun that it involved student athletes and that allegations were reported to school administration during the team’s trip to Tennessee last week.

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“During the spring break baseball trip to Tennessee, our coach received reports of incidents that certainly don’t support our values for our students,” Morris said. “Right now we are conducting an internal investigation and we contacted authorities and we are working with them.”

The district’s assistant superintendent interviewed players and parents Wednesday in an attempt to get to the bottom of what happened, Morris said.

A sheriff’s report states that the school requested assistance Tuesday.

“Units were called to Shawnee High School to assist the school staff and reportee with a harassment investigation,” the report says.

Deputies declined to give additional information about the investigation due to the seriousness of the investigation, Clark County Chief Deputy Travis Russell said, adding only that they are working with the school district to gather more information.

Shawnee baseball games have been cancelled over the past few days, but Morris said he doesn’t expect the season to be completely cancelled due to any of the incidents being investigated.

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“We feel badly that this happened,” Morris said. “Our first priority is to make sure our students are safe. We want all students to feel engaged and safe, and right now we are focused on supporting our students and conducting a thorough and timely investigation.”

The Clark-Shawnee baseball team had a game against Tecumseh scheduled for Wednesday. That game was cancelled, but according to the Tecumseh Athletic Twitter account will be played on Friday.

A parent who asked to remain anonymous said her son was of one of the ballplayers on the trip and said he was near the alleged incidents.

She said she was told that older students were allegedly harassing younger players, including physically assaulting them.

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The mother said her son wasn’t a victim but that she believes her child and other players on the team were emotionally and physically harmed during the trip.

Reports of harassment on sports teams have been an issue in the Miami Valley over the past year.

Late last year, acriminal investigation was launched into reports of hazinginvolving the Tri-Valley High School boys basketball team.

The University of Dayton has been sued by a former football player who accused the university of looking the other way of hazing at the university. The player alleged officials knew underage, underclassmen on the team were forced to drink high levels of alcohol as part of a celebratory week and did nothing to stop it.

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