April 12th, 2024

School division wants harassment of Chinook football team to stop

By Lethbridge Herald on November 18, 2023.

Al Beeber – Lethbridge Herald – 

The Lethbridge School Division is asking the public to quit harassing members of the Chinook High football team, their coaches and families over a recent sexual assault incident in which four players were charged. 

In a lengthy statement to the media sent Friday afternoon, LSD said it is disappointed that “misinformation has been used to negatively impact how members of the football team are perceived and we apologize we were not able to do more to stem the tide of misinformation. We believe these young student-athletes should not be defined or judged based on this incident.”

The statement said the decision to end Chinook’s season wasn’t based upon the values or culture of the football program but rather the need to address the impact the incident had on school division’s entire learning community.

“Ultimately, as we worked towards a return to competition, it became evident that we did not have enough time to fully respond to this complex and evolving incident before the deadline of a playoff game. Offseason football activities have resumed, and we look forward to the 2024 Chinook Coyote football season,” said LSD.

“We know the way the season ended was incredibly difficult for members of the football team and we sincerely apologize for the hurt this decision caused for players, coaches, parents and supporters of the program. We also know that many students and staff not involved with the football team were negatively impacted by this incident and again, we recognize the hurt this has caused.  

“As a division, we continue to examine how we support our students in creating and maintaining respectful and inclusive environments in all schools. We are committed to furthering our understanding of the role social media and technology play in amplifying the negative impact of serious incidents,” LSD said.

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