Viera High School hazing: Football players return to practice amid hazing investigation

Viera High School's football team was allowed to hold practice on Wednesday, days after some players were suspended and the entire football program put on hold following a horrid hazing investigation involving another teammate, officials said.

The school's scheduled football game on Friday has been canceled in wake of the ongoing investigation, though the goal is to return to competition eventually, school officials said.

"This afternoon BPS made the choice to cancel Viera High School’s football game scheduled for this Friday evening," said Russell Bruhn, spokesperson for Brevard Public Schools in a statement.

"The investigation into the hazing incident is still active and a decision on the status of future games will be made at a later date."

Bruhn also confirmed that some of the players who were initially suspended following the alleged incident have been allowed to return to the team, though it is not guaranteed that they'll be able to play in any future games.

During Tuesday night's Board meeting, BPS Superintendent Mark Rendell he does not agree or plan on canceling the school's entire football season. He said what happened was unacceptable, but that it should also be a learning moment for the players, students, school, and community.

The mother of the student who was allegedly hazed spoke during Tuesday night's meeting. She asked that her name not be used and her face blurred.

"I want to make it clear, my son is not a political pawn because football is over for him," she told the Board.

"Those players that were involved took that away from him and turned his life upside down when they chose to post it on social media," she said, adding that anti-hazing training was "only a Band-aid" and would not solve the problem.

She also told the Board that while eventually people will move on from the incident, she will not. Nor will the emotional trauma inflicted on her son.

"Just know for me, there is no timeline for justice and there is no timeline for the emotional trauma that will be left behind when things go back to business as usual for all of you," she said. Several people who attended the meeting began to clap after she finished speaking.

What happened?

The alleged hazing incident happened in the boy's locker room last week at Viera High School and was recorded on video, which was then shared on social media, officials said. 

FOX 35 has decided not to show the video to protect the identity of the alleged victim, the disturbing nature of the video, and because no arrests or charges have been announced.

The video appears to have been recorded in a locker room. It shows what appears to be at least one student – a boy – on the ground, clothed, as several other students encircle him and shout at him, while other students appear to perform a sexually-suggestive act on him.

School Board members said the students allegedly involved were suspended, the football coach relieved of his duties, and the program indefinitely suspended.