Mother of Alleged Hazing Victim Speaks Out - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Ellsinore, MO

Mother of Alleged Hazing Victim Speaks Out

Mother of Alleged Hazing Victim Speaks Out
By: Crystal Britt

ELLSINORE, Mo. -  The mother of an alleged hazing victim speaks out for the first time.  The East Carter High School basketball team went to camp in June at Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas.  Soon after, eleven boys ages 13 and 14 came forward accusing six 15 to 17 year olds of sexual related hazing on the trip.  Those six kids have since been charged in juvenile court and are suspended from school.

Now four months after the incident, a mother of one of the victims is speaking out.

"In my mind and the minds of other parents, this goes way beyond hazing," Paulette Yates said.

She didn't think twice about sending her 14-year-old son off to basketball camp.  Those three days away from home though changed everything.  Paulette heard from another parent what happened off the court.  That's when she confronted her son.

"His first reaction...who told? Because they were threatened," Yates said.  She wouldn't detail what happened for fear of embarrassing her son and others, but says it was bad.  

"It's sad when young men have their bodies violated, their minds violated, their homes are violated, their dignity is violated," Yates said. 

Two other parents of two different boys showed up at our interview with Paulette Yates to support her.  They stood quietly behind our camera.  Right now, the victims' families are discouraged with the legal system and the school district.  This week the school held appeals hearings for two of the suspended boys where the victims had to retell what was a very painful experience.

"I think our boys as victims could have been treated with more dignity and respect," Yates said.

The school's attorney, Tom Mickes, says the process was necessary and legal.  Those appeals by the way, were denied.  The accused boys can't come back to school.  School leaders say they've done everything they can and have moved forward.  However, the victims' parents haven't.

"It's been hard for us as parents, but I can't even imagine what's going through my son's mind," said Yates. 

It's something that is not only felt at home and at school, but in public.

"This is a small town and it's hard for everyone all around...the victim's, perpetrators and parents on both sides.  I pray for these parents like I pray for our parents.  They're just going through a different kind of hell than we are," she said.

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