Accusations of branding football players heat up at Hutch High
Three Hutchinson teens accused of hazing are expected in court this week. Investigators say some upper classmen took a wire hanger and quickly bent it back and forth until the middle got hot. Then they used that to brand the freshmen just brought up to the varsity team - on the stomach.
Detective Tyson Meyers said the Hutchinson Police Department received information about the incident from parents. Those parents told Eyewitness News that their sons were branded inside Hutchinson High School on Wednesday and Thursday of last week.
Ray Hemman, spokesperson for the district, said Hutch football coach Randy Dreiling gave the second of two lectures about forbidding hazing just last week.
"We take hazing very seriously in the district," Hemman said.
At least one of the attacks happened in the locker room, he said.
One boy's parents say he was approached and asked if he was ready to branded. He was among eight players - including four freshmen - who were just promoted to varsity.
This type of hazing has been going on at Hutch High for awhile now, parents say. Meyers also said he learned through his investigation that this is an ongoing incident.
Parents also say they expect their children to get hurt on the football field - not in the locker room. They say it's more than just "boys being boys."
"The difference is that this is leaving a permanent mark, or possibly permanent, depending on, you know, how badly they're burned," Meyers said.
Since reporting the hazings, some of the families say they've been threatened and did not want to talk on camera. But they hope their reports to police will help being about some change at Hutch High.
Meanwhile, formal charges are expected against the three arrested boys later this week.