Preps Talk

Lawsuit filed following alleged Lake Zurich High School football hazing scandal

Preps Talk

A lawsuit was filed on Wednesday after an alleged hazing scandal involving Lake Zurich High school coaches and officials and members of the football team.

The lawsuit, filed by lawyers representing the parents of two Lake Zurich students who are victims of the hazing incident, alleges that coaches and school officials allowed "acts of hazing and bullying to occur within the team locker room, including forcing teammates to strip naked and forced un-consensual sexual assault."

According to NBC Chicago, District 95 superintendent Kaine Osburn wrote this letter to the parents of Lake Zurich students:

"The last twelve weeks have been challenging for many students and others in our community," District Superintendent Kaine Osburn said in a letter to parents last week. "My administration has done its best to balance the safety and rights of our students and staff with the need to thoroughly examine how we can foster a culture and climate that prevents hazing and other unhealthy behaviors, all while attempting to communicate in a transparent manner. I accept responsibility for any failures in this regard, but rest assured my full and earnest dedication is and always will be to the safety of our students and the knowledge that we must do what is necessary to build a healthy foundation for growth."

The lawsuit alleges that players on the Lake Zurich football team were forced to strip naked in the shower while they were urinated on with other members of the team watching.

 

Antonio Romanucci, the attorney who represents the alleged victims, said that Lake Zurich officials claimed they were unaware of any hazing involving students, but the lawsuit alleges that hazing at the school goes back at least two decades. 

"When it crosses the line and it steps over a boundary of decency and morality and ethics and sexuality, then that's when boys should not be boys, they need to be stopped," Romanucci said via NBC Chicago.

Since the alleged incident, Lake Zurich has implemented a locker room supervision schedule and an anti-hazing presentation for players and parents.

The District declined to comment publicly on the lawsuit.

"The District is committed to creating a positive culture that does not tolerate hazing of any kind," a statement read. "Our focus will be looking forward. Our own attorney has conducted an internal investigation and made 13 recommendations regarding how we can address hazing proactively and implementation of these recommendations has already started. Additionally, the administration has instituted other measures not outlined in the report."