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Streetsboro expected to address band allegations at board meeting

Board is in process of hiring an interim director
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Posted at 2:37 PM, Aug 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-17 14:37:06-04

Still reeling from the wake of the band camp hazing allegations, Streetsboro City Schools will hold a board of education meeting Wednesday night to conduct regular board business and address developments in hiring an interim band director.

The meeting will begin at 6:45 p.m. at Defer Intermediate School at 1895 Annadale Drive in Streetsboro. 

The marching band program was suspended when allegations of hazing surfaced. Both Director Gretchen Weaver and Assistant Band Director Shane Ellsworth were suspended with pay pending an investigation, said Superintendent R. Michael Daulbaugh. 

RELATED: Band program, director, assistant director suspended

In a statement, Superintendent Daulbaugh said underclass students were pushed into a lake at night and plastic wrapped to a tree. Read his entire statement below: 

As you are aware, our marching band program has been suspended until we finish our investigation into claims that students may have been hazed, demeaned and belittled during the recent band camp. I’m aware of the many postings on social media that would excuse the behavior as “tradition”, “team building” and “group acceptance”. Pushing underclass students into a lake from a dock at night, in the dark without inquiring if they can swim, demeaning and mocking underclass students in band camp skits, and wrapping students in plastic wrap either to another student or to a tree are unacceptable “initiation traditions”. While these kinds of hazing rituals may have been the pattern and practice for decades, they are direct violations of the established School Board Policy. The Streetsboro City Schools have zero tolerance for hazing, bullying or conduct that is demeaning or belittling to students.  The fact that some excuse it as “steeped in tradition” is irrelevant and frankly disheartening.

We are in the process of finalizing the hiring of an interim band director who can help get our marching band back on the field. I will be able to share more about this development after our upcoming school board meeting. Band members are strongly encouraged to continue to practice their instruments until school resumes.

As a former band member myself, I understand how important this program is to everyone in our district. We will do everything possible to resume the marching band program at Streetsboro High School as quickly as possible.

I will continue to keep you updated as information warrants.

The superintendent said the school is in the process of hiring an interim band director to help get the band back on the field. He intends to share more information about the hiring during the upcoming school board meeting.