Picking sides: Robbinsville kids rally around wrestler accused of beating up teammate
A senior wrestler from Robbinsville was disciplined by the school board Wednesday night behind closed doors.
According to a report by NJ Advance Media, the senior is accused of beating up a sophomore teammate after a practice in December. The senior was reportedly suspended from the team and from school.
Authorities have not disclosed the name of the senior, but the Trentonian reported Dylan James was "tossed off the team" after the incident, citing multiple anonymous sources.
NJ Advance Media reported other students have begun wearing T-shirts and posting on social media in support of the senior, and started a petition supporting him as well.
Robbinsville Superintendent Steven Mayer, who would not discuss the particulars of the incident or the disciplinary action taken, told New Jersey 101.5 that the district has "no tolerance for harassment, intimidation, or bullying" and will immediately begin a district-wide review of "our culture, procedures, and processes to ensure they are proactive and are always consistent with best practices in maintaining healthy norms and that they promote a safe and secure environment in every aspect of our school community."
Mayer said he was concerned about the effect media attention about the incident is having on students and the school.
"It's always vital to us to protect the interests of all students and to create a school climate and culture that meets the needs and supports every student in the building," he said. "And as we work through any situation we have that in mind. Our hope and expectation is that regardless of any one individual circumstance that the work we're doing supports all students in a safe, supportive environmental where they can thrive."
The mother of the sophomore who was allegedly attacked told NJ Advance Media that the family was initially satisfied with the punishment. But after the continued show of support for the senior, however, the student quit the team and his family is considering criminal charges, the report said.