Luling HS band members face hazing charges
Luling police are investigating reports of hazing involving members of the high school band. Four students are facing charges along with a faculty member who police say failed to report the students' outcries.
Onboard the Luling ISD school buses is where two minor high school band members said they were repeatedly hazed by older band members. This past weekend their parents became aware and went to police.
"Our dispatch received a call Saturday evening the 15th that there had been a sexual assault on the band bus,” said Chief Bill Sala.
Chief Bill Sala says the students described inappropriate physical contact in which the upperclassmen used their hands and drumsticks.
"There was touching involved, but it was not of a sexual nature. It was outside the clothing of the individuals that were involved,” said Sala.
Sala says because the contact was outside of the clothing it did not meet the criteria of a sex assault, but it was hazing.
Prior to calling police, Sala says the students told a faculty member on their bus they had been "raped." Sala says the faculty member thought the teens were joking and did not follow up on the claims.
Now three juniors and a senior face the class B misdemeanor charge of hazing and the faculty member faces the same level of charge for failure to report.
"Nobody should have to put up with that under any circumstances. It's demeaning and dehumanizing and any other list of adjectives we could use,” said Sala.
Officers say they have reason to believe this type of hazing has gone on for at least four years. They have asked the district to provide them with any available bus video so they make get a better scope of who all was involved in these incidents and who knew about them.
"We certainly want to be informed of other people are victims of incidents like this. We take the stance that it's the same as bullying which is not to be tolerated. It's a real detriment to all of our young people,” said Sala.
The chief has been in contact with Luling ISD Superindent Timothy Glover. Glover tells FOX 7 the district will take appropriate action if needed. Parents of those involved have been contacted. He would not tell us whether the suspects and faculty member still remain with the band. He says these are allegations and no action will be taken until police determine a crime was committed.
A class B misdemeanor carries a sentence of up to six months in jail.