Southampton High makes changes after football player's police complaint

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Responding to a police complaint by a student that forced Southampton High School to forfeit its last football game, school officials said Wednesday they will provide "better supervision" and set up a safety hotline for parents and students.

An investigation by the school district was recently completed, said Southampton Superintendent Scott Farina in a statement released Wednesday night. The Mariners, with one win and six losses, canceled their Nov. 1 game against Bishop McCann Mercy High School.

"Appropriate disciplinary actions were taken and now this incident is behind us and the healing process has begun," Farina said.

According to a police report obtained by Newsday through an open records request, the student told police he was in the boys' locker room at the high school after football practice on Oct. 30 when two teammates forced him onto a bench.

The student, whom Newsday is not naming, lodged a complaint with the Southampton Village Police Department. Officers investigated the matter and referred it back to school officials, police said Wednesday.

Southampton Det. Sgt. Herman Lamison said last week that the incident would only rise to misdemeanor harassment and the victim had not said that he wants to press charges. Lamison did not respond to a message Wednesday.

"Based on what's been alleged at this point, it's not assault, it's not hazing," he said last week. "As far as a criminal act, at best, you're probably looking at harassment."

Neither the student who filed the complaint nor his father could be reached for comment Wednesday.

Farina would not say if any personnel changes were made as a result of the allegation. Varsity football coach Edgar "Hikey" Franklin did not respond to a message seeking comment Wednesday.

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School officials have not said what the nature of the contact was between the student and his teammates beyond "reports of misconduct."

"The school district takes the safety and security of our students very seriously," Farina said.

The new anonymous hotline, Farina said, will allow parents and students to report "unsafe situations" and "the physical set up of the locker room has been changed to allow for better supervision and after-school activity protocols have been reviewed and amended."

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