Parents push for transparency after alleged locker room assault at Clyde-Savannah High School
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Clyde Police, State Police and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office are continuing to investigate what happened inside the locker room of Clyde-Savannah High School before the varsity football team took the field for practice on Halloween.
Sources tell News10NBC Investigative Reporter Jennifer Lewke, a Snapchat video shows a handful of players hold down an underclassman and assault him. The Clyde-Savannah School District canceled the rest of the football season immediately, including the team’s sectional playoff game that was supposed to happen over the weekend.
The lack of information or criminal charges since has caused a lot of speculation, rumors, and worry in the Clyde-Savannah community. Parents of players who were not in the locker room when the assault is alleged to have happened tell News10NBC their kids are being bullied and threatened.
The mother of a varsity football player agreed to be interviewed but requested News10NBC not share her name for fear her son would only get more backlash.
“There was a video that was sent out to a group varsity chat and my son received it,” she says.
The video, according to the mom, was short — but showed an underclassman being held down while others approached him.
“You could gather what happened, and what may have come after the video was stopped,” she says.
Her son and other players who say they had no idea what happened before practice, alerted adults just moments after the Snapchat video was sent to the entire team. Those adults called the victim’s parents.
“The victims parents had unfortunately not known it yet, because he wasn’t going to tell them. He was too afraid, too embarrassed. I’m not sure. But he wasn’t going to tell them,” she says.
The district decided to cancel the rest of season. Superintendent Michael Hayden sent out a letter to parents saying in part:
“I am writing to address an incident involving several members of our Varsity Football team, which has led to disciplinary actions. While we understand the community’s concerns and desire for information, we must emphasize that, due to an ongoing investigation and the confidentiality of student matters, we are unable to divulge specific details regarding the situation.”
This mother says while the players who were involved deserve harsh punishment, the rest of the 26 member team is under the same black cloud — even the ones who did the right thing.
“These kids, especially the seniors, are going to carry this through college. There’s 11 seniors on that team. I think the district could handle it a little better. They could word some things differently so that the whole team isn’t taking the backlash,” she tells News10NBC.
Clyde Police have only said so far that they are investigating.
Hayden spoke with students at an assembly late last week and has offered counseling services to those in need. The mother wanted to attend Wednesday’s school board meeting to speak with members about the situation, but was told she needed to sign up 10 days in advance to give any comment.
“We have to write in 10 days before a board meeting in order to speak. We know the policy, but the situation just happened so we don’t have 10 days ahead of time to sign up to speak,” she says.
News10NBC reached out to each and every member of the Clyde-Savannah school board on Monday. None of them returned our messages.
Hayden’s office didn’t provide any updates on the investigation, but confirmed that the board is not changing the 10-day policy for public comment despite the seriousness of the situation. However, he says he does want to make sure parents in the community are able to speak regarding this so, a parent forum is being set-up and will occur in the next few weeks.