Police now involved in Tamaqua Area School District football team ‘incident’ investigation

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Parents say they feel they're not being told the whole story

TAMAQUA, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — An “incident at a Schuylkill County school involving members of the football team is causing concern and confusion for parents.

Tamaqua Area School District released a statement Monday afternoon regarding the “incident” that stopped Friday night’s football game.

In the statement, the school district says they are conducting an investigation into an “incident” involving members of the football team.

And even though the school district says it’s working with law enforcement to get to the bottom of it, parents say they feel they’re not being told the whole story.

District officials will not say what the incident was. Some concerned parents tell Eyewitness News they feel like they’re being left in the dark.

Laws prevent authorities from talking about specifics, especially when minors are involved, but in this case, school officials have told parents nothing.

“I feel that us as parents, we should know more of what’s going on. I think we are required to know more,” parent Jessica Harper said.

Harper says the statement Tamaqua Area School District released on Monday did little to restore confidence in her son’s school, after the “incident” that cut their football season short.

“Is it safe to send our kids to school everyday right now? We don’t know any of that,” Harper said.

In the statement, Superintendent Raymond Kinder said district administrators and Tamaqua Borough Police have been investigating an incident involving members of the high school football team since Thursday evening.

“Due to the ongoing nature of this investigation regarding a student disciplinary matter of a juvenile nature, we are only permitted to share limited information. We ask that you respect this as we continue our process.”

Raymond J. Kinder
Superintendent, TASD

This comes after athletic director Mike Hromyak announced on Friday that Tamaqua Area High School would forfeit its District XI AAA football game against North Schuylkill which was scheduled for Saturday.

He said this was due to a “situation” within the school. Parents like Harper and Thomas Williams found these announcements alarming.

“It feels like there’s a lack of transparency. The statements by the school district are vague,” Williams said.

Word has circulated throughout the school community that a violent assault took place on school grounds. Eyewitness News cannot confirm this because there has not been a police report, and school officials said they’re not releasing any more information. What we do know is this incident was severe enough to forfeit a playoff game.

“I think that parents expect that their children have a safe environment when we send them to school. I think that’s part of the school district’s job is to ensure that they’re providing a safe atmosphere,” Williams said.

Schuylkill County District Attorney Michael O’Pake says as of right now, his office has not been brought into this investigation and he has not been consulted about any charges. We asked Superintendent Kinder if he could at least tell us the nature of the incident and if students were harmed.

He said “The district does not have any further information to provide at this time.” Some Tamaqua Area High School students tell Eyewitness News they’re outraged over the situation and are planning a walk-out to protest.

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