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Origin Of Hazing Scandal At Bronx High School Of Science May Go Back Years

Email From 2010 Surfaces, Outlining An Incident Similar To Latest Accusations
Bronx High School Of Science Hazing Suspects

(L-R) Pier Berkmans, 17; Thomas Brady, 16; and Boubacar Diallo, 16; are charged with a performing a sexually violent hazing ritual on a younger member of the track team at the Bronx High School of Science. (Credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The hazing scandal at the Bronx High School of Science was widening Wednesday night, as emails indicate that the staff may have known about sexual assaults in the locker room as far back as 2010.

As CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported, an email allegedly sent by suspended athletic director Marion Dietrich in March 2012 to the school’s coaches and principals detailed an incident in 2010.

The email, published Tuesday by the New York Daily News, said, “A student’s genitals were touched from an athlete on the track team…. This very student has been in therapy ever since.”

The email surfaced after Dietrich and two track coaches were suspended from their positions at the school Tuesday, following the arrests of three students in connection with a sexually violent hazing.

The students — Thomas Brady, 16; Boubacar Diallo, 16; and Pier Berkmans, 17 — have been charged as adults for allegedly hazing a freshman member of the team.

The assaults started in late December, when one of the assailants told the victim, “You need a good fingering, you freshman” before penetrating him through his clothing, the complaint said.

Later in January, one of the teens demanded that the victim touch him sexually and threatened to rape him if he did not, according to the complaint. When the victim refused, he was pinned down and sexually assaulted, police said.

The older boys also allegedly struck the victim’s genitals with a water bottle.

With the scandal rocking the school, the student body was divided.

“I know for a fact that what they said happened did not actually happen within the locker room,” said Dylan Small. “And it’s BS that our entire school is suffering.”

But senior Alex Garcia had a different impression.

“I’ve just heard that most of the students who join the track team usually face some form of harassment – some, not all, usually in a sexual nature.”

Garcia added: “I know they do naked runs around, or touching each other. I know all sorts of things happen.”

The email last year asked coaches to help supervise the boys’ locker room. But students said they have not noticed much supervision in the past year.

“They have the locker rooms to themselves,” Garcia said, “a lot less supervision, and not many coaches in the room to stop them.”

New York City Department of Education officials have launched an investigation of the email from Dietrich, as well as all of the hazing and sexual assault allegations.

“There’s a very bright line between joking and having fun with each other and hazing, and doing something that may be hurtful to another person,” New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said Tuesday, “and we’re not going to tolerate that in New York City Public Schools.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg also denounced the students’ alleged conduct.

“It’s despicable, if it happened. I don’t know, you don’t know what the truth of the matter is, but there’s no place for hazing in school,” Bloomberg told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks, on Tuesday.

The three suspended students have been attending another school. They were set for a court hearing on Friday.

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