Bullying investigation over, students to receive discipline - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Bullying investigation over, students to receive 'administrative discipline'

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Administrators at Westover High School must now decide how to punish students accused of bullying a basketball player during camp. Police finished their investigation, but the victim's father is still expressing concerns.

 

Dougherty County school board members met with the victim's father behind closed doors Wednesday. But he didn't want to talk to us until he finished reading the entire report.

 

Some Westover High school basketball players will be disciplined for taunting and harassing a teammate, but no charges will be filed. 

Dougherty County school police finished their investigation into bullying accusations when the team was in Tallahassee for a camp.

"I thought it was comprehensive. Not being involved in a day to day basis, we'll probably never know the whole truth. But I know we made an effort for a complete, full investigation," said Dr. David Mosely, the DCSS Superintendent.

School Police say one teammate will also be disciplined for posting a threatening tweet on social media after the basketball camp, but that the threat did not rise to the level of terroristic threats and acts. 

The victim's father met with board members in private during Wednesday's meeting, wanting to share his son's side of the story.

"There's always a difference of opinion. And I don't know what's going to be done right now for sure until we hear of the recommendations from the school," said Mosely.

Investigators say contrary to accusations, there were enough chaperones on the trip, but they may have not been present during some of the gatherings.

"I think there was enough chaperones, based on what I know. I don't know that they were in the right place at the right time all the time. I think we will be taking a look at that," said Mosely.

And now it's up to the Westover High school principal and coaches to take disciplinary action against the students involved.

The full report will not be released to the public until the disciplinary actions are handed down, and we're not sure when they will be.
 
Board members are remaining quiet about the investigation.

"I don't have anything to do with that particular Westover thing. I will vote up or down whatever is recommended," said Reverend James Bush, a DCSS board member.

"I haven't personally read the report. So when I don't personally read something I don't feel comfortable commenting on it," said Carol Tharin, the DCSS chairperson.

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Police say high school students involved with bullying others at a summer basketball camp will receive "administrative discipline" from school leadership.

The Dougherty County School System Police said the investigation is over. Chief Investigator Julius Phillips said that some levels of bullying did occur, but video and witness evidence did not indicate that the action was a chargeable crime.

The incident was said to have happened at an event in Tallahassee.

Students involved in unacceptable behavior for student athletes will be referred to the coaches and Principal Chunn for what educators call "appropriate disciplinary action."

Officials also said a corresponding complaint of alcohol and drug abuse on the trip could not be substantiated by evidence.

According to a report, the school system said a team member who returned from the camp and posted threatening tweets on social media will also receive administrative discipline as the threat did not rise to the level of "terroristic threats and acts" as supported by evidence.

Police also said other allegations charged against school staff concerning school board policy related to chaperone-student ratio where found to be false. 36 students were supervised by four adult chaperones on the trip. Policy requires one adult for every ten students.

Investigator Phillips did report that there were times when chaperones were not present during student gatherings because they were attending to other duties.

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