Sayreville (Parlin, N.J.) has taken a stand against bullying and hazing, a very strong one, canceling the rest of the school's football season. According to nj.com
, Superintendent Richard Labbe made the announcement Monday night after a heated two-hour meeting with the parents of some of the football players.
This isn't the end of just the varsity team's season, but also the freshman and junior varsity teams as well.
Sayreville's varsity squad has won three state titles in the last four years and was 2-1 in 2014 before taking a forfeit loss to South Brunswick last week.
"This is a very sad day in Sayreville," Labbe told reporters Monday.
Labbe said his decision was based on initial findings from the Sayreville Police Department and Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office.
"There was enough evidence to substantiate there were incidents of harassment, intimidation and bullying that took place on a pervasive level, on a wide-scale level, and at a level in which the players knew, tolerated and in general accepted," said Labbe.
Predictably, many parents from the meeting were angry and felt the decision was unfair.
"It's bogus," said the parent of one player. "They're holding the kids accountable and not holding the coaching staff and the teachers accountable. I don't think what they're doing is fair. A lot of the students who are innocent, they're suffering."
Labbe learned last week of the allegations and cancelled the program's game against South Brunswick. His message to cancel the season was loud and clear.
The decision doesn't just affect the football team, pointed out parent Theresa Tamburri. Her daughter is a cheerleader. The school's marching band will also not be performing on Friday nights.
"I'm outraged that their season is taken away from them and they did nothing wrong," she said. "Let them play. Give them their season back. Give them what they worked hard for."