PHOENIX - Officials with the Paradise Valley School District have confirmed that eight members of the Paradise Valley High School football team have been kicked off the team after a hazing incident that occurred when students were attending a football camp in El Cajon, California.
Police in El Cajon are investigating the incident.
A lieutenant with the El Cajon police department tells 12 News detectives have now contacted all of the parents of the kids allegedly involved. Police say the kids were visiting El Cajon for a football camp last week, when one of the students told one of the coaches what happened.
That coach called police and reported it July 20.
Police say the incident happened at about midnight on either that day or the day before and that all the students involved were juveniles. Police say the student who reported the incident to the coach described some kind of touching amounting to what would be considered a battery in the state of California.
That is generally when someone touches or strikes another person.
“A hazing incident, it was probably done by one half of the kids, designed to humiliate the other half," said Lt. Walt Miller of the El Cajon Police Department. "That kind of fits the crime of hazing out here in the state of California.”
Police haven’t requested any charges yet because the investigation is ongoing. The El Cajon Police Department’s investigations division commander tells 12 News they are working on interviewing a couple more students and working closely with the juvenile District Attorney’s office.
That’s who will ultimately review the case and decide whether a crime has been committed as well as what, if any, charges will be filed. Police say at its most minimal level, hazing becomes a crime when a physical injury can occur based on behavior or when a physical injury does occur.
Right now, no one has been arrested and police don’t anticipate any arrests in the immediate future.
In a statement, Paradise Valley School District officials said administration at Paradise Valley High School conducted a thorough investigation into allegations of a the incident.
"It was determined that those students who were found to be involved the hazing incident and in violation of the district policy were appropriately disciplined, and eight students will not be returning to the football team for the 2016 football season," the district stated. "Due to Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), we cannot release the names of the students involved."
Officials also said that the school district works hard to provide a safe environment for students and have strict rules regarding hazing that are clearly communicated in their student handbooks.
They said they will not tolerate hazing, bullying or abuse of any kind and take these allegations very seriously.