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Wyandanch High School suspends two football team members, probes 'bullying pranks' in locker room

Two members of the Wyandanch Memorial High School

Two members of the Wyandanch Memorial High School varsity football team were suspended from school last week and more suspensions are possible amid an investigation into "bullying pranks" in the locker room, the district said in a statement Thursday. The high school is pictured here in 2012. Photo Credit: J.C. Cherubini

Two members of the Wyandanch Memorial High School varsity football team were suspended from school last week and more suspensions are possible amid an investigation into "bullying pranks" in the locker room, the district said in a statement Thursday.

The district said the students were suspended from classes for two days, but not from playing football. The team played on Saturday, losing to Shoreham-Wading River, 54-0. The team plays Southampton-Ross on Saturday.

The details of the suspensions came to light publicly at the Wyandanch school board meeting Wednesday night.

The mother of a player who she said was a victim of the pranks said the board had not done enough to discipline the players involved.

The Wyandanch board issued a statement saying the board, superintendent, principal and athletic director "were more than disappointed when the bullying pranks by two members of the varsity football team came to light. After an investigation, led by principal [Paul] Sibblies, the students at fault were quickly reprimanded and suspended. After our investigation is concluded there may be more suspensions."

The mother told board members that without more severe action, the behavior will continue and could escalate.

"We see what is happening in New Jersey," the mother said, referring to the arrest of seven varsity football players in Sayreville, where students face charges that include aggravated assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact and conspiracy over hazing incidents.

"I'm not just speaking for my son," the mother said at the board meeting. "I'm speaking for everybody that has a son. . . . These young men represent Wyandanch."

The district said it is encouraging students who know something to come forward.

"There is a zero-tolerance policy in the Wyandanch school district for any kind of unnecessary physical contact," the district's statement said. "We endeavor at all times to give students and staff the privilege of always feeling safe anywhere in our school district."

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