3 Southern Illinois football players expelled for bullying - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

3 Southern Illinois football players expelled for bullying

ANNA, IL (KFVS) - The Anna-Jonesboro School Board voted Monday night to expel three Anna-Jonesboro High School football players for what the school is calling a "serious bullying incident" that happened in a school locker room.

The school board went into closed session shortly after 7 p.m. Monday and remained there for more than three hours until reaching a decision just after 11 p.m.

The decision will uphold three student's original suspensions of 10 days and will expel the students for the remainder of the 2014 fall semester or until Jan. 15, 2015.

The Anna-Jonesboro High School District 81 superintendent Rob Wright says the incident happened on Sept. 19.

In a two minute video released to Heartland News by the family of a student that was in the school locker room where the incident happened.

The video shows several young men begin bounding the victim's hands and feet with tape. The victim is dragged into a locker room shower and the young men begin to turn the shower on and off on the victim. The victim crawls out of the shower but is brought back in by  the young men. The victim crawls out again and the video ends.

Heartland News cannot confirm what led to the incident or what happened after the video ended.

Members of the board of education say they were not made aware of the incident until a school board meeting on Oct. 20.

Parents of the victim and of the students who have been expelled tell Heartland News that they were not made aware of the incident until the weekend of October 20.

The students will be allowed to enroll in a regional safe school during their expulsion and will have to pay the cost out-of-pocket.

The students may apply to enroll back at Anna-Jonesboro High School for the 2015 spring semester. At that time the board will review the students attendance, academic performance, and conduct during the students time at the regional safe school.

A decision was also made to uphold a five-day suspension for a fourth student. No further punishment was dealt to that student.

The school board meeting Monday, Nov. 3 was attended by parents, students, teachers and concerned community members who packed into the high school auditorium who waited to hear the decision.

Several people had a chance to publicly comment on the topic before the board went into closed session.

"But you just let the bulliness go on," Angela Hewitt, parent of a bullied student, said. "You say kids will be kids, and it includes being shunned. And nothing is being done."

"If you don't want it done to you, don't do it to other folks," Michael Turner, Lead Minister at Jonesboro First Baptist Church, said.

"If this is going to cause young people to get expelled from school, I'm not okay with that," Mike, a retired educator and former Anna-Jonesboro high school coach, said.

Illinois State Police and Anna police have also opened investigations into the case.

Anna Police Chief Scott Rice said he expects the investigation to be finished on Friday, Nov. 7.

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