CUSD Superintendent denies interview about hazing allegations at Hamilton HS

Parents attended a scheduled meeting of the CUSD governing board, which comes the same day a 6th victim of alleged sexual assault in the Hamilton High School locker room came forward.

CHANDLER, Ariz. - A scheduled meeting of the CUSD governing board comes on the same day a sixth family comes forward claiming their son was a victim of sexual assault in the Hamilton High School locker room. The meeting is also the first opportunity for public comment since the removal of three educators at Hamilton High School.

Former head football coach, Steve Belles, principal Ken James and Athletic Director Shawn Rustad have all been re-assigned to district duties away from Hamilton.

"I believe CUSD is different than many other districts, not because it doesn't have challenges, but because how administration and staff react to those challenges," Board President Robert Rice said as an unprovoked opening statement to the meeting. 

Rice never referenced Hamilton in his remarks, and it's certainly possible he wasn't talking about the hazing allegations at all. Yet, the remarks set a tone for public comment. 

"I do thank you for removing the individuals from the school. I don't know if that's the full thing that needs to happen. I know we want to see some additional steps taken," one parent said. 

Not everyone is so pleased with the district's action however. 

Joanne Wuthrich doesn't understand why educators would be removed without actual charges being filed. 

"The only thing I request from the board is not to do anything because it's the easy fix, because these cameras are here, or people that don't know the facts decide that they are the jury," Wuthrich says.

The board doesn't respond to public comment. And Superintendent Camille Casteel didn't have time for our questions before the meeting either.

"It will just take a second," Ryan Cody tells Casteel.

Dr. Casteel said, "No thanks," as she continued to walk away.

After the meeting Dr. Casteel also declined our request for an interview saying "There's nothing she can say at this time."

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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