2 coaches placed on leave during hazing investigation at Bauxite School District
BAUXITE (KATV) —
Coach Mattox and Coach Tew have been placed on paid administrative leave from their baseball coaching duties pending results of the investigation, according to the Bauxite School District's Director of Academic Affairs Leann Pinkerton.
Documents obtained only by KATV confirm the hazing investigation involving the Bauxite School District includes sexual abuse allegations.
Since Channel 7 News broke the story last week, dozens of emails have been sent and phone calls have been made to the newsroom by parents and others claiming to be close to the investigation. No one has agreed to go on camera for fear of retaliation, but many have given the same story; seniors physically attacking freshmen baseball players on school buses.
Some parents have said it’s been going on for years, players victimized as freshmen then becoming offenders their senior year.
Following a Freedom of Information Act request made by KATV, an email was obtained detailing the hazing investigation.
An email sent by the Arkansas Department of Human Services' Crimes Against Children Division of the Arkansas State Police sent to the Bauxite principal and assistant principal clearly states that they're investigating the recent sexual abuse allegations involving bauxite student athletes.
The email goes on to say that when the state police requested that high school administrators provide the written statements of the young men involved it was denied.
It also cites Arkansas law that they must provide the statements requested by police. In the alternative, they would be compelled to file a law suit against the school for its unwillingness to cooperate with the investigation.
Channel 7 has yet to uncover how many students this involves, the district said they cannot release further details of this on-going investigation.
The Bauxite School District's Director of Academic Affairs, Leann Pinkerton, released this statement:
As you've previously reported, the Bauxite School District has been investigating hazing on its high school baseball team. During our investigation, the District reported the matter to the child maltreatment hotline and has been actively cooperating with law enforcement’s investigation. The District will do everything necessary to ensure that our students can attend school and participate in extra-curricular activities in a safe environment.
KATV will continue to follow this developing story.