South Portland officials investigating hazing incident | News

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South Portland officials investigating hazing incident
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SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine  (NEWS CENTER) -- South Portland school officials said they began an investigation into hazing on the high school football team after the high school football coach told them about it.

Thursday, the football team was taken into a lecture room while each player was interviewed individually by the athletic director and assistant principals about the incident - which officials said involves drugs.

South Portland superintendent Ken Kunin would not tell NEWS CENTER what the drug was - but confirmed the pills taken were not performance-enhancing. He did say the pills are illegal to possess without a prescription.

He said the incident involved older players on the team forcing younger players to take those pills.

During Thursday's investigation, players were not forced to hands over their cell phones - but they were advised to stay off of social media. They were told if they didn't feel they could stay away from the sites, they could have officials hold their phones until the investigation concluded.

"They understand the seriousness. It was uncomfortable for everyone - not something we like to do... but we really felt like the situation warranted it," Kunin said. "What we feel we covered is that it was, in all likelihood, an incident of hazing - and it involved the use of substances. We take that extremely seriously, and we will follow our school department policies as we move forward with the individual students involved."

Officials have not said how many students are involved, or whether those students will be suspended from the football team.


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