High School Sports

School district suspends Dimond High football for a week amid hazing investigation

Anchorage School District Superintendent Deena Bishop has suspended the Dimond High School football team's activities for at least a week as an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct and hazing proceeds.

Bishop wrote in an email Wednesday to parents and staff that she had learned of allegations of "misconduct" by members of the team Monday.

"For this reason, I am suspending the DHS football program this week, including all practices, team activities, and games," she wrote. "A decision about the remainder of the season will be made pending further review."

Officials have said the reported incident happened when Dimond's football team traveled to Fairbanks on Saturday for an away game against Lathrop High School. The team stayed at Lathrop High School overnight, according to the Fairbanks School District.

Officials have not described the nature of the alleged misconduct. At least two parents have told media outlets that the abuse was sexual in nature and involved older players taking younger players one-by-one into a room.

The Anchorage School District has so far refused to answer questions about the trip, including which players and staff members went or how players were supervised. They have also not said whether any students, coaches or other staff members have been disciplined or suspended, or if similar abuse among football players had been reported in the past.

Later Wednesday, Bishop issued an additional written statement, saying "we are working with the Anchorage Police Department to investigate. We have zero tolerance for any inappropriate behavior. Until our investigation is complete, I have no further comment. Student safety is always our number one concern."


[In 1999, two hazings clouded the Service High School football season]

The district said it is is cooperating with a criminal investigation by the Anchorage Police Department.

Dimond was scheduled to play Palmer's Colony High School on Friday. There's no word yet on whether the game will be rescheduled.

Michelle Theriault Boots

Michelle Theriault Boots is a longtime reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. She focuses on in-depth stories about the intersection of public policy and Alaskans' lives. Before joining the ADN in 2012, she worked at daily newspapers up and down the West Coast and earned a master's degree from the University of Oregon.