LAKE TRAVIS, Texas - Two Lake Travis High School football players are accused of knowingly putting a teammate's health in danger.
The spokesperson for Lake Travis ISD confirmed two students coated a teammate’s belongings in peanut products. That person is allergic to peanuts.
"It’s just think that’s awful," said Chloe Rodino, a parent. "Like that’s so mean. Just overall, like gave me the heebie jeebies."
"It's unfortunate to hear that such an event has happened, especially intentionally it seems," said Anshul Varma, a LTISD parent.
Parents said they were surprised to hear about what happened at Lake Travis High.
"I know that there has been like some hazing and stuff like that, which obviously is still gross and like not a good culture, but honestly, this just seems like kind of pass that point, just like when you’re affecting someone’s literal health," said Rodino.
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The school district confirmed with FOX 7 Austin that it was two varsity football players that spread peanut powder and peanut products on a fellow teammate's locker and clothes.
The teammate had a severe peanut allergy and broke out in hives.
People close to his family said the perpetrators knew about the allergy and even recorded the incident.
"It's scary to think like, you know, we are raising the next generation," said Rodino. "If that's what people are doing or being taught then, like obviously, that’s something we need to look into ourselves in. That's something we need to change for the better for our children, so we’re not having to send our kids to school worrying that someone else is going to set off their allergic reaction."
The district said the students were disciplined but wouldn't say how.
Many FOX 7 Austin viewers reached out and said the punishment included football game suspensions for the players involved.
Anshul Varma has kids in an LTISD elementary school. He wants to know how the district will make sure something like this doesn't happen again when his kids get to high school.
"There are so many lockers in the school," said Varma. "How would the school authorities prevent something like this from happening in the future? It’s a very difficult goal to achieve."
The school district said it spoke with all families involved, and it understands the frustration and concern from other parents.
"It's crazy to think that, like in our schools, where you're sending your kid, where you think they're going to be safe, and then they're not, it definitely will make you think twice," said Rodino.
Lake Travis ISD provided FOX 7 Austin with a letter the district sent to Lake Travis HS staff and parents:
Dear Lake Travis ISD Staff and Parents/Guardians,
You may have seen reports in the news and on social media involving an incident that occurred in October 2023 connected to Lake Travis High School students. In order for our community to have a clearer picture of the situation, I would like to provide the following information.
By way of background, Lake Travis High School, the Lake Travis ISD Police Department, and district administrators were made aware of an incident that took place on campus during a staff professional development day/student holiday involving student athletes and the placement of peanuts in an athletic locker. Parents were immediately made aware of the situation. Athletic Director/Coach Hank Carter, Principal Debbie Garinger, and their administrative teams reviewed all evidence and consulted with internal legal counsel. As a result, our administrators applied consequences.
Due to federal privacy laws which protect all minor students, the details of those consequences cannot be made public or even shared with all staff. Although many have publicly shared concerns and rumors about the incident, the District must adhere to all legal and ethical guidelines. However, we can correct some misinformation which has been shared on social media. At no time was peanut butter spread on a helmet or uniform. The LTISD Police Department completed an investigation and has submitted that report to the Assistant District Attorney's Office for review. At this time, we have not received a final determination from the Assistant District Attorney’s Office.
We remain committed to providing a safe learning environment. This includes educating students on appropriate behaviors and good decision-making. I have complete confidence in the administrative team and the efforts to maintain a safe and respectful environment at Lake Travis High School. We ask our community to respect student privacy as rumors can be misleading and cause damage. Thank you for your understanding and support.
Superintendent of Schools