Fury Roils Danvers School Committee Meeting Over Hockey Hazing Allegations

Parents went back and forth over hazing allegations against the Danvers High School hockey team at a School Committee meeting Monday night. Photo: Drew Moholland/WBZ NewsRadio

DANVERS (WBZ NewsRadio) — Emotional Danvers parents fired criticism back and forth at the town's School Committee meeting on Monday night. An investigation in the Boston Globe detailed hazing allegations against members of the Danvers High School hockey team on Saturday.

The hazing allegedly included "Hard R Fridays," where players would yell racial slurs and "Gay Tuesdays," where a player was touched inappropriately after stripping naked. Another allegation details a text chain where players joked about Jews being murdered in the holocaust and Black fellow classmates being lynched. The report also claimed the authorities had covered up the hazing.

At the meeting, several residents called for the jobs of the School Committee and Superintendent.

"A few adults in this room have to take responsibility, give these kids the second chance they deserve, be honorable, and resign," said Gabe Lopes, who has two kids in the Danvers district. "This is embarrassing...please step down, let the town heal, and start over," he said.

Debbie Joyce, the mother of a player on the 2019-2020 hockey team, defended the team and said that her son "is not a racist or homophobic, or part of a white supremacy group."

Members of the School Committee pushed back on claims that the District and Committee had covered up the scandal.

"If you think that we haven't done anything about this...that's a bunch of crap," said School Committee Secretary Arthur Skarmeas. He said the Committee had been working on getting to the bottom of the allegations for a year and a half.

"Do you want to be judged on the worst that you did when you were 16 or 17 years old?" asked Committee Chairman Eric Crane.

The committee pushed a vote on whether to put Danvers Superintendent Lisa Dana on leave until next week. Endicott College said it will no longer allow the Danvers team to use its ice rink, according to the Salem News.

WBZ's Drew Moholland (@WBZDrew) reports:

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