RC responds to hazing reports



The Reed-Custer School District has issued a response to allegations of alleged hazing among its football team players and staff. But the issue remains

This week, a Chicago-based media outlet released a story regarding alleged hazing at Reed-Custer High School last year, accusing former students of abuse and the district’s administration of failing to protect the alleged victim.

Last week, Superintendent Mark Mitchell released a statement to parents in advance of that story.

“It has been brought to our attention that the media is investigating allegations of past incidents involving the conduct of former Reed-Custer students. These allegations may lead to speculation and rumor, but state and federal laws prohibit the district from commenting directly on the specifics of any matter involving our students,” the statement read.

Mitchell went on to state that the district takes all allegations of inappropriate conduct seriously, with policies, procedures, and codes in place to address inappropriate behavior.

“These policies, procedures, and codes have been followed in the past and will continue to be followed in the future,” the statement continued. “Investigation techniques can include reviewing video footage and interviewing appropriate students and staff.  The results of the investigation are assessed, and administration applies the related policies.

“... I find it essential to remind you that our invested Reed-Custer staff members are committed daily to providing a safe and secure environment for all students so that they can succeed both academically and in extra-curricular arenas. We pride ourselves in the relationships that we have built with both past and present parents and guardians, and truly appreciate the support our community has given the district.”

The district issued a press release on the allegations on its website.

The release states in part “on and off campus behavior expectations are communicated to both students and staff at the beginning of each school year, and are revisited frequently throughout the year. Expectations are visibly posted throughout the hallways in each building to serve as a visual reminder of appropriate conduct.”

The release goes on to note that the district also invites guest speakers to campus with messages on self-esteem, strong character and perseverance, and overcoming adversity, engages students in the Safe School Ambassador (SSA)

Program, and lists other proactive measures the district takes to ensure the well being of its 1,407 students.

Reached by phone this week by The Braidwood Journal, Mitchell said he was unable to make further comment, again citing student privacy concerns. Mitchell could not comment if any hazing incident had in fact taken place, or if any disciplinary action had been taken against students or staff.

At press time, the details of the report were not yet available to the public.