Haverhill High School cancels Thanksgiving game following hazing incident (Image via Haverhill High School)

Haverhill High School abruptly canceled the rest of its football season on Wednesday after a video of a hazing incident was made known to school officials. Since the matter came to light, the coach has been placed on paid leave.

Trigger warning: This article mentions s*xual harassment and hazing that may be triggering to certain readers.

After netizens became found out about the occurrence, many expressed enrage on social media. One Twitter user even asked, “Why is the world so cruel?”

Sources claimed that multiple videos of the week-old incident circulated across social media. In the video, alleged members of the football team were seen s*xually harassing a youngster. Three students were seen dragging another person across the floor, who was without his clothes. One of the three students was wearing a Haverhill football shirt.

Another person was also seen in the video, the student was seen wearing only his inner garments. As per Boston 25 News, this student went on to stand over the boy who was on the floor and straddled his face.

Margaret Marotta, the Haverhill School Superintendent, issued a statement announcing that a referral was made to the police department. The statement read:

“Given the seriousness of the misconduct, the district has decided to end the current football season—cancelling all future practices and forfeiting future games… Out of an abundance of caution, members of the coaching staff have been placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation.”

The school was scheduled to play their historic rival Lowell Red Raiders this Thanksgiving.


Netizens infuriated over Haverhill High School hazing incident

Internet users were enraged after the hazing incident came to light. Many could not believe that such an incident occurred at a high school. Many rallied for the aggressors to be reprimanded for their actions. Others also expressed sympathy towards the school having to forfeit upcoming football matches.

A few tweets read:

@Bward3 @boston25 Sad for those seniors who had no involvement in this and Lowell their Thanksgiving opponent. I’m disappointed that we still see these stories all too often.

@boston25 Those 3 should be off the team and expelled

@boston25 a year for the disgusting actions of hazing just seems so insufficient. Hope those 3 boys and any of those involved are fired/expelled. I hope that poor boy knows we’re on his side.

@boston25 I thought they did away with hazing.

@Bward3 @boston25 Haverhill kids are such scumbags… how is this ever justified and okay to do? Send them kids to get checked out Jesus. Says a lot about the captains and integrity of the team

Robert P. Pistone, the Haverhill Police Chief, said in an interview that they are currently investigating the matter. Marotta, the school superintendent, reiterated the same in her statement and also stated:

“Haverhill Public Schools will not tolerate hazing, harassment or retaliation in any form. Any such misconduct will be responded to swiftly and it will undoubtedly have lasting repercussions for those involved.”

She went on to ask parents to discuss the incident with their children and inform the school principal if they have any resourceful information about the same.

Mayor addresses high school hazing incident

James J. Fiorentini, the mayor of Haverhill, took to Facebook and stated that he was made aware of the incident while he was on vacation. He also shared that he watched a video of the hazing as well. He added that he supported Marotta’s decision to cancel the upcoming Thanksgiving game against Lowell High School. He added:

“I am alarmed, concerned and frankly disgusted by what I have been told and by the video that I was shown… The boys involved in this disgusting incident should be immediately permanently removed from the team. Parents deserve to know when they send their kids to play high school sports that their children will be safe.”


He also shared that he plans to be briefed on the matter as he returns to the city over the weekend.

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