NJ.com has reported that at least one student was sexually assaulted during a violent hazing incident at Wall Township High School located at 1630 18th Ave, Wall Township, NJ 07719.
An investigation has begun as more than six junior football players allegedly held down a sophomore football player in the high school locker room. The hazing incident was brought to the attention of other students and parents as a video of an attack emerged. Parents who watched the video said the victim pleaded for the abuse to stop while other observers voiced their opposition to the actions. One abuser was reported to have been holding a mop or broomstick during the violent attack.
On Thursday, November 11, 2021, three school coaches were put on administrative leave due to the hazing incident. There are thirteen coaches listed on the roster for the football team. Three are teachers at the high school, and two work for the Wall Township police department. Tony Grandinetti, the head coach, has a reputation for challenging the players both mentally and physically. He was named head coach in 2017. So far, two of the scheduled football games have been canceled as the investigation continues.
One of the football players is currently under investigation for an unrelated sexual assault accusation. He has been accused of sexually assaulting at least one female student from the high school.
To learn more about the sexual assault investigation:
Attorney contributor Brian Kent is an experienced school hazing attorney in New Jersey. Brian represents victims of sexual abuse, including those involved in violent hazing incidents. Recently, he discussed the recourse available to victims of hazing in high schools and their legal right to recover compensation.
"School hazing incidents, in both high schools and colleges, have become more abundant in the last few years. For New Jersey, the problem isn't a new one, and sadly it has been occurring for decades. Within the last thirty years, most states have passed a law regarding hazing. However, the magnitude of the harm during these events has only grown. Often, these incidents involve sexual abuse or the student being forced to consume alcohol or other drugs in extreme quantities. Sometimes these acts of initiation result in hospitalization or death. Hazing typically occurs in sports teams or sororities and fraternities."
"Schools, including teachers and coaches, have a legal responsibility to ensure their students are safe from unreasonable dangers and risks while on the school campus. If an incident occurs and the school or school official is found to have failed to offer safety to the student, they could be found liable. This includes safety in the locker room."
"Victims have a legal right to file a civil lawsuit against those involved in the assault as well as a school if it is found to be negligent. If the school failed to provide or implement safety measures to prevent or stop the hazing, they could be liable in a court of law. Negligence on behalf of a teacher or coach could also be tried in court. If students reported the misconduct, but an investigation did not begin, or the suspected abusers were allowed to remain in contact, the school could be deemed negligent. Victims and their families are encouraged to seek the counsel of an experienced attorney if they feel they could be a victim of hazing."