Mohawk High School Alumnus’ Mom Opens Up About Football Team Harassment – WPXI

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Pa. — The mother of a Mohawk High School alumnus has contacted Channel 11 about the harassment her son endured while on the football and track teams. She says that in light of the district attorney’s recent investigation into allegations of hazing among football players, she believes it shows a pattern of abuse and humiliation.

FRONT COVER >> 3 students charged after hazing allegations at Mohawk Area High School, football program to resume

In 2011, five 14-year-old boys were tried and pleaded guilty to harassment, conspiracy to harass, annoy or alarm a victim in the case of his son. She tells Channel 11 that her son was badly affected for life and to this day he still won’t talk about some of the details of what happened to him.

“There were times when he talked to me about wanting to kill himself,” Andi Lee-Marnicio said of her son. “That’s how it went wrong.”

RELATED >> Mohawk school district returns to class amid hazing allegations against high school football team

She says once the recent investigation surfaced, her son relived the high school trauma all over again.

“He said, ‘Mom, I’m so sorry for those kids because this will affect them forever,'” Lee-Marnicio added. “He said, ‘Look what it did to me.'”

RELATED >> Local high school football team under investigation for hazing allegations

In her son’s case, there was cellphone video showing some of the abuse involving underage teenagers.

“They put her head in the toilet and pulled her out. They kicked him, beat him with a metal trash can. They couldn’t get him to lick the urinal, so they made him lick the floor,” Lee-Marnicio said. “It hasn’t stopped since my child has been there.”

RELATED >> Local high school football team dealing with fallout after alleged hazing incident

She says she is disgusted that the soccer program can continue, given the recent case that resulted in charges Friday against three soccer players for crimes involving five victims.

The Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office said that since those charged are minors, they will not be named and will go through the juvenile system. Lee-Marnicio worries that this cultivation will continue without harsher consequences.

“It looks like these kids are getting away with murder. They get a slap on the wrist. Next year it will happen again. »

Download the FREE WPXI News App for the latest news alerts.

In the 2011 case, Lee-Marnicio said minors had to pay a fine and full community service, but were still allowed to play on sports teams.

The Mohawk School District released a statement on the district attorney’s findings, adding that what happened was not part of institutional practice and had never happened before.

Here is the full statement from the school district:

« September 2, 2022

On August 17, the Mohawk School District administration was notified of hazing allegations involving the high school’s varsity football team. Upon learning of the allegations, the administration immediately contacted the County Children and Youth Services and the Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office. The district and DA office launched investigations that involved interviewing the team and its coaches to determine what had happened. After less than two weeks, the district and the district attorney’s office have completed their investigations, and this afternoon the district attorney’s office is releasing a summary letter regarding its findings and the results of the investigation. While some felt the investigation took too long, the district believes the primary concerns of keeping students safe and determining what really happened warranted the time and attention needed.

“Notably, the district attorney concluded that the conduct that occurred was not part of an institutional practice and had not occurred before. Additionally, the ride was limited to a small number of individual players and no adults had prior knowledge of any hazing. Furthermore, the district attorney specifically found that many of the rumors circulating are unfounded. While the incident is troubling and unacceptable, it is not part of the District’s culture and the appropriate parties have been and will be held accountable.

“The District has taken steps to resolve the issues both with the students involved in the incident and with all players moving forward. Guidance, support and other resources were offered to students and the NCAA Anti-Hazing Assembly was held on August 31, to which all members of the football team were invited. The District understands that it will be a long process to heal from these events, but we have begun taking the necessary steps to ensure this event is addressed and never happens again.

“Today the District announced to the District team and community that we believe it is safe and appropriate to resume college football operations. The District is currently making arrangements to field a team and resume the The district appreciates the community’s patience, support, and commitment to student health and safety as this process unfolds.

Follow Channel 11 news on Facebook and Twitter. | Watch WPXI NOW

Martha K. Merrill