District issues new statement after Hamilton High football players arrested for alleged hazing

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(Source: 3TV/CBS5) (Source: 3TV/CBS5)
CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Six students were arrested Wednesday in connection with a hazing case involving several victims, according to the Chandler Police Department.

Four of the five juveniles were booked into jail on charges of sexual assault, kidnapping and aggravated assault, police said.

One of the suspects was an adult, but his name isn't being released because he has not been charged with a crime, according to police.

Five of the suspects attend Hamilton High School near Arizona Avenue and Ocotillo Road. The sixth suspect is a student at Chief Hill Learning Academy near Frye and Cooper roads. All of the suspects and victims are either current or former football players for Hamilton High School, police said.

On Thursday, the Chandler Unified School District released the following statement:

"The District continues to cooperate with Chandler Police Department in its investigation that resulted in yesterday's arrests of five Hamilton students.  If anyone else has information that may be helpful to this investigation, the District joins in urging you to contact Chandler Police Department immediately at (480) 782-4130. 
 
At this time, the District is not privy to all of the information that Chandler Police Department has gathered in its investigation.  But once Chandler Police Department has completed its investigation, the District will be conducting a full assessment of the situation and taking appropriate action. 
 
In the meantime, the District reiterates its anti-hazing policy and is providing continuing education and training to its students.  The student violence/harassment/intimidation/bullying (JICK) policy is included in the student handbook distributed earlier this school year and is also posted conspicuously in each school building. 
 
The District's adoption and enforcement of its anti-hazing policy further promotes the right of students to be educated in a positive, safe, and respectful learning environment."

[Raw video: Chandler police briefing]

Police said they’ve been investigating the alleged crimes since February. Investigators said the crimes happened on the school campus between September of 2015 and January of 2017.

On Wednesday, the Chandler Unified School District released the following statement about the arrests:

"The District has been cooperating with Chandler Police relative to hazing allegations involving students.  Today, police arrested six students in association with the investigation. Chandler Police are in control of this matter, and the District cannot discuss details but has been instructed to defer all questions to the Chandler Police."

Chandler police said there is a possibility of additional victims and ask anyone with information to call 480- 782-4108.

"A lot of it has to do with hierarchy, it has to do with whether or kids are are competing against one another," said clinical psychologist Lisa Strohman.

While she has no knowledge of the Hamilton incident, she has years of experience in dealing with aggression among adolescents.

"There is this culture with kids that they have a no-tell policy and they try and keep things from their parents, and they feel if a parent finds out that they’re weak," Strohman said.

She said she has seen an aggression in aggression among kids and teens.

"I believe technology shows the more kids are online, the less empathy they have and the higher aggression they have," she said.

She suggests looking for behavioral changes in your child, and trust your gut.

"Kids are talking to one another online," Strohman said. "And so the only people they're not telling are the parents, so if you see that behavioral change, you need to look at their social media online."

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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