Olympia School District officials have begun investigating more allegations of inappropriate physical contact between current and former Capital High School athletes, according to spokesman Ryan Betz.
Students didn’t report the incidents to coaches when they happened, but they came to light during the district’s investigation of reports that students were inappropriately touched during a summer basketball camp at Western Washington University in June, Betz said.
“We’re looking into every incident or every issue that has been brought up as a result of this,” he said. “We take all of these reports seriously – every single one of them.”
Also, in a letter to residents distributed Tuesday, superintendent Dick Cvitanich said the district appreciated the input and comments, and its decision to investigate was made “after an extensive investigation with information that cannot be made public because of student privacy laws.”
“We believe our recommendation was made in the best interests of our students and the long-term well-being of our basketball program,” he wrote.
According to a Western Washington campus police report and a separate report generated by the district’s own investigation – both of which were obtained by The Olympian through a public-records request – one student involved in the alleged hazing told investigators he was a victim of a similar incident last year.
According to the district’s report:
The student said that at a basketball camp at Seaside, Ore., a year ago, he had just taken a shower and had a towel wrapped around him when “about 10 kids came in and several tried to stick fingers up my butt.”
He also said one of the boys was on top of him, kissing him on the neck, and that he told him to stop, but he didn’t tell anybody because he was “afraid to tell on my teammates.”
In addition, the district’s investigator, Kevin Evoy, wrote that “Several players had also heard that it happened among the CHS football team, and one said it also occurred at the middle school level.”
One student told investigators that such activity is “traditional.”
On Monday, despite a slew of citizen complaints and pleas from dozens of parents during the past few weeks, the Olympia School Board upheld the district’s decision to dismiss Capital High head basketball coach Doug Galloway.
Several parents said the district went too far in letting the popular coach go and that he was being used as a scapegoat.
But district officials say Galloway failed to provide adequate supervision for the students at the camp.
According to the district’s report:
Galloway told Evoy that coaches were told there would be additional supervision at the camp.
In addition, Galloway said he didn’t communicate with the other coaches about a player-supervision plan while they were planning to attend the coach’s dinner, but that he asked two players to be “in charge” while coaches were at the dinner.
However, Brad Jackson, who was the head basketball coach at Western Washington, told the district’s investigator that there were four types of supervision at the camp: Western’s campus police are on patrol 24 hours a day; campus security made regular and after-hours rounds on campus; college students were employed by Residence Life to serve as directors and are in charge of the Residence Halls during each camp or group; and staff supervisors are hired “specifically during basketball camp to make rounds and oversee the times students are in the residence halls.”
The district plans to post the job opening for a head boys basketball coach quickly and is implementing a plan designed to help the school and community heal, Cvitanich wrote.
One of the steps is to contact athletic directors from other schools in the league regarding fan and player behavior during competitions; another is to work with PE staff and coaches and “outline clear expectations for students while in locker rooms, traveling as a team and at competitions.”
To view a full copy of the letter, go to www.osd.wednet.edu.