Dimond football suspended by Superintendent as investigation into 'serious misconduct' continues

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — The Anchorage School District has canceled Dimond High football activities for the next week, as the district investigates what it's calling "misconduct" involving the Lynx football program.

In an email addressed to Dimond High School parents and families, and shared with Channel 2, Superintendent Deena Bishop says she is suspending the Dimond high football program this week, "including all practices, team activities, and games."

The Lynx would have traveled to Colony high school to take on the Knights this Friday. Channel 2 went out to Colony and spoke to coaches and players on the Knights' team. While they would not comment on the investigation that is ongoing at Dimond, many seniors expressed their disappointment in losing a game to play in during their senior season.

The email says a decision about the remainder of the season will be made after further review.

See a copy of the letter, provided by the School District, here.

Wednesday, Bishop and others met about the incident starting at 7 a.m. She told Channel 2 that the district was cooperating with Anchorage Police and that she couldn't release more details.

Bishop did say her decision to suspend the football program will last until she has "a clear sense of how pervasive this issue was, and until that time, and until we know, and until APD has finished their investigation, I don't have additional details for you."

The decision reverses a decision announced after a Tuesday team and parent meeting, which had been that the team would resume practice Wednesday afternoon.

The allegations of sex abuse and hazing came after a team road trip to a game in Fairbanks. Several senior football players are accused of assaulting several freshmen, one-by-one.

In the email, Bishop says she learned of the allegations on Monday, August 20. She says Dimond High School immediately contacted the Anchorage Police Department when it was reported.

[RELATED: ASD: Dimond HS hazing incident being investigated]

When asked about the decision on what to call the incident -- be it hazing, misconduct, or sexual assault -- Wednesday Bishop said that her first comments on the incident referred to hazing, and any misconduct. "It's serious misconduct, and it's being taken seriously, hence, the Anchorage Police Department is involved," Bishop said.

When asked Wednesday if any disciplinary action had been taken against the accused students, Bishop said the district had "ensured the safety of students and as a school district, we do take initial precautions as needed." She told KTUU she couldn't release specific details because all the students involved were minors. When pressed to confirm that none of the students involved were 18, Bishop did not confirm that.

The Lynx were scheduled to face the Colony Knights in Palmer on Friday.

This is a developing story.



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