February 21st, 2024

Chinook football team to resume activities


By Lethbridge Herald on October 17, 2023.

Al Beeber
Lethbridge Herald

The Chinook High School football team is being allowed to resume team activities this week but has not been cleared to play games, says the Lethbridge School Division.

Those activities, says the division, include practices and and activities “designed to support their wellness and begin to address the conditions that allowed this incident to happen. More investigation and consultation are required before we can make a decision to return to game play. We will continue to consult with experts in responding to trauma, and with parents, as we make further decisions about game play for the team.”

Four members of the team were charged last week in connection with an incident where a fellow player was sexually assaulted. 

Two players, who are 17 and two who are 16 are charged with sexual assault with a weapon, assault with a weapon and unlawful confinement. They have been prohibited from attending the school or its grounds.

Chinook High has implemented measures to meet the school division’s commitment to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all members of the football team, the LSD said in a statement released Monday.

They include:

* Enhanced supervision and safety practices for all team activities. 

* Trauma informed activities to help us better understand what led to this incident.

* Education related to positive team culture and relationships.

* Enhanced wellness supports for members of the football team.

The LSD says some team members have been targeted for harassment in light of the recent incident in which four players were charged with various criminal offences for a sex assault.

“We ask that all stakeholders refrain from directing these feelings towards members of the football team and members of our school communities,” said the LSD release.

“We are exploring initiatives and programs designed to help athletes and club members across the Division learn more about how we can work together to make changes necessary to build stronger and better communities within these environments,” the release added.

The school and division are looking at current and past conditions “that may have contributed to this incident” and have recruited the help of Kevin Cameron of the Centre for Trauma Informed Practices to assist with the process and a response.

The division is encouraging any member of its school communities who have been assaulted to come forward. Chinook students can contact the Chinook High School Wellness Team at 403-320-7565 or talk to administrators, trusted teachers or counselors. They can also acesss help online at the school’s website https://chs.lethsd.ab.ca/parents/career-services-page

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