E. Providence wrestlers suspended over alcohol, 'sexually-explicit prank'
Linda Borg Journal Staff Writer @lborgprojocomJohn Gillooly Journal Staff Writer JohnGillooly2
EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Members of the East Providence High School varsity wrestling team were suspended in January and their season canceled after the school district learned that the students had smoked marijuana and consumed alcohol on a trip to New York.
Junior varsity team members filled the vacated varsity spots for the remainder of the season.
East Providence athletic director Gregg Amore said, “The East Providence School Department is not commenting on the incident because the students involved were minors and it has been adjudicated.”
Only one wrestler did not participate in the illicit activities. None of the students were named to protect their privacy.
According to a legal finding from the Rhode Island Department of Education, the incidents were brought to the attention of the school principal by a parent who saw a video on social media.
“The principal learned that four members of the team … had planned well in advance both to bring the banned substances on the New York trip and to sexually humiliate the first wrestler who passed out … and then to videotape what occurred.”
The principal investigated and the team members involved admitted to the actions. They were suspended and the remainder of their regular season was canceled as was any postseason competition.
But a father of one of the wrestlers filed an appeal with the state Department of Education claiming the disciplinary action given his son was too harsh. The Department of Education held a hearing and Wagner upheld the principal’s decision.
The student and his father admitted that the wrestler had brought alcohol and marijuana on the trip and that the student was “a primary actor in an obscene prank” that was videotaped by members of the team.