While local and county authorities looks into reports of a New Jersey high school football team's widespread hazing, the school has decided to cancel the remainder of its season because of the bullying allegations.
After an emotional two hour meeting with school officials and parents of the football players, Sayreville High School decided to cancel the rest of the season. The cancellation affects all levels of play — freshman, junior varsity and varsity.
"This is a very sad day here in Sayreville," Superintendent of Schools Dr. Richard Labbe said in a statement to reporters after the meeting.
There was enough evidence to substantiate the allegations of harassment and intimidation at the center of a separate criminal investigation by police and prosecutors, said Labbe.
The incidents took place "on a pervasive level, on a widescale level, and at a level in which the players knew, tolerated and in general accepted," he said.
Labbe said canceling the season sends a clear message that the behavior won't be tolerated. No players have been suspended.
This district and this board of education is making a unified stance to say 'no.' No to bullying," said Labbe.
The Middlesex County Prosecutor said Friday it was investigating a report that seniors on the team hazed freshmen in various forms, some of which could be considered sexual assault.
Sayreville High School's football team, one of New Jersey's top programs, already forfeited multiple games amid the hazing accusations, including last Thursday night's big showdown with rival South Brunswick.
Parents, mostly of football players, met with school officials Friday and expressed frustration that many players they felt were innocent were being unfairly punished.
The decision set off a Twitter war.