North Smithfield school department launches investigation into football program following hazing allegations

North Smithfield HS (North Smithfield Public Schools)

NORTH SMITHFIELD, RI (WLNE) — An investigation is ongoing into allegations of hazing surrounding the North Smithfield High School football team stemming from the 2021-22 season.

Superintendent Michael St. Jean confirmed to ABC 6 News that all members of the football team have been suspended from all athletic activities until the investigation is complete.

The superintendent said he notified parents in the district of the investigation on Friday and the school department contacted the North Smithfield Police Department, the Attorney General’s Office and the DCYF.

“Our number one priority is to protect the safety of our students. Therefore, given the seriousness of the allegations, ongoing law enforcement investigations, and the possibility that members of the football team may have violated our anti-hazing policy, all practices, practices and football team matches have been suspended until further notice,” Saint Jean wrote in a letter to parents.

Details surrounding the allegations have not been released.

“”I have been made aware of very serious hazing allegations involving a high school team. I support the superintendent suspending program operations until a full investigation is conducted by law enforcement,” said North Smithfield School Committee Chairman James J. Lombardi III.

A spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office confirmed that they had received the complaint and are investigating.

“We commend the school department for their prompt notification to this office, law enforcement and the DCYF and their cooperation to date,” the spokesperson said.

They added that anyone with information should contact Detective Chito of the North Smithfield Police Department at 401-762-1212 ext. 225.


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