hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

School News

December 7, 2011

Anti-hazing policies reinforced

Andover scandal draws Haverhill coaches' attention

(Continued)

Haverhill basketball coach Mike Trovato was shocked by the scandal and after hearing about it made sure to address his players about the dangers of hazing. "We discussed hazing the first day of practice," said Trovato. "We warn the kids that even things that they think are so minor, can't be done."

Trovato, in his fifth year at Haverhill, said he has never had a problem with hazing and trusts his players to behave properly.

"We're all the same people and we're all family," said Haverhill senior Parker Rogers. "Regardless of if you're an upper or underclassman, we shouldn't do that to each other."

"It's no way to welcome somebody to your team," said Haverhill senior Nate Bresnahan. "I just think it's completely wrong."

O'Brien said that Haverhill athletes do attend camps similar to Hoop Mountain. Because the camps are not sponsored or funded by the schools, what student do there is out of the school officials' control.

"The preventative aspect is the toughest part of all," said O'Brien.

Haverhill High teacher Lori Curry is an advisor of the Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) team at the high school and had a half-hour discussion with students to discuss the hazing incident at Andover High School.

"Many students were shocked that kids would even think of doing that to people on their own team," said Curry. "They thought that it bordered on sexual abuse more than just simple hazing."

Curry said that VIP students also were concerned about how their fellow students will behave when the Andover basketball team visits Haverhill for its season opener next Friday.

In the past, Haverhill students have been upset by Andover students mocking them, and some believe the hazing scandal could provoke retaliation.

"We want to come across with some class and sophistication regarding the issue," said Curry.

Ideas have been floated, such as wearing armbands during the game stating that "Haverhill is against hazing," or having an assembly prior to the game to talk about the dangers of hazing.

Bresnahan said that while he doesn't know quite what to expect from the crowd at the Andover game. He is certain of one thing.

"It will be loud, very, very loud."

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