Parent Files Restraining Order For Needham H.S. Soccer Player's Suspended State Tournament

Jan. 22, 2010 - St. Petersburg, Florida, USA - SCOTT KEELER | Times.SP_317384_KEEL_SOCCER_ST. PETERSBURG (01/22/2010) 1. Clearwater Central Catholic Alexandra Alberdi, (22), and Berkeley Preparatory School Taylor Richardson, (6), try to head the ball at mid field in Friday nights 3A-10 Girls Soccer District final at St. Petersburg Catholic High School. Berkeley Prep defeated Clearwater Central Catholic 1-0. [SCOTT KEELER, Times.

It seems some craziness is afoot in the town of Needham, Massachusetts, as approximately ten girls from the varsity soccer program were suspended from playing in the state series, as well as from school.

What was the reason for the suspension?

A HAZING INCIDENT!!!

Normally, the term "hazing" conjures up some pretty serious thoughts about what a group of students (sometimes athletes) may have done to others. Severe demeaning-type behavior for the sole purpose of humiliation is what most might think of, thus, resulting in pretty severe penalties from authority.

At boston.com, the online piece of the Boston Globe & New York Times, there were several articles published regarding the incident. In combination, the columns reported the use of blindfolds, whip-cream pies in the face, a dog collar, and even one parent's failed attempt at a restraining order against school officials so the athletes could play in the state soccer series.

One thing I found most interesting is the discrepancies that occurred in the story. For the most part, these discrepancies centered on the feelings the community had on whether the punishment doled out was appropriate for the crime. Thoughts on this ran the gamut from the punishment being overly harsh to the student athletes getting what they deserved. Reading through the conglomerate of comments on the subject (located as a link near the bottom of the following articles) demonstrates the variety of opinion:

Needham High suspends girls accused of hazing
Judge rejects plea to play in big game

Hazing penalty defended
Message had to be sent, officials say

Details of alleged hazing emerge
3 parents recount events, say girls' actions were in good fun

Certainly a lot of "food" for talk during one's coffee break in Needham. For me, however, I think I'll reserve my opinion and let the details and facts (at least the ones available) speak for themselves through the videos in the above articles. If you have not done so already, make sure to check them out before reading on.

Of course, I cannot leave this topic completely absent of opinion, thus, the poll located below.

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