VIERA, Fla. - A 14-year-old was forced to grow up and a family is trying to parent in uncharted territory. That’s the aftermath of an alleged hazing incident at Viera High School.
FOX 35 sat down exclusively with a mom whose teenage son had to switch schools, quit football, and start over in a community they recently moved to.
Avanese Taylor says it’s been tough to move to a new state and immediately deal with issues with the school district. She says she’s speaking out against hazing to not only help her son heal but shine a light on a bigger issue that’s often overlooked.
"I don’t know what will bring me peace because there’s a part of my child that will never be the same," said Avanese Taylor whose son was the victim of a viral hazing incident at Viera High School.
The Taylor family has only been in Brevard for about a year and never expected to be having conversations about "topics like rape, we never imagined we would be having these types of conversations" with their son.
"There’s no playbook on how to parent as far as dealing with a child who has now been on social media for everyone to see," she added.
Since then, her son had to transfer schools and quit the sport he loves. His former team was suspended for a few days but is already competing again.
"It’s unbelievable," the mother added.
A national study done by the organization, Stop Hazing, found that 74 percent of students involved in athletics deal with hazing.
This mother is worried moving on without proper procedures and policies in place could lead to other students getting hurt.
"If you’re not willing to do more than a computer-based training, you’re not serious to me. It’s not serious," Taylor said.
Every member of the football team had to go through computer-based training before being allowed to practice and play again, according to the school district.
The family is weighing legal action against the school district and hopes more will be done, so this doesn't happen to another student.
"I’m going to stand up for right, and I’m going to stand up for my child, period," she concluded.
The Brevard School Board adopted a new code of conduct in August.
FOX 35 reached out to the district for comment on how their hazing policy has been applied in this investigation but has not heard back.
The State Attorney’s Office is also expecting to receive the investigation from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office very soon and will look into possible criminal charges against students who were involved.