77ºF

Did Broward high school coach approve of graphic hazing?

Cooper City parent claims incident occurred during road trip

COOPER CITY, Fla. – The parent of a South Florida high school student complained to local authorities after she says her son was the victim of a hazing incident.

The parent said her son, a member of the Cooper City High School baseball team, was hazed by teammates during a road trip to a tournament in Altamonte Springs the week of March 21-25.

According to the Broward Sheriff's Office report, the student told his mother that five teammates came into his room and pulled his underwear down before he was able to fight them off.

"That's not right," Fran, a grandparent of a student at the school, said. "You know, you don't pull each other's pants down, you're supposed to be taught better than that."

Paul Gray, whose child attends Cooper City High, said he is shocked by the allegations. 

"It's a big deal," he said. "I went to Cooper city High School back in the '70s. It's not acceptable in sports or in any part of life." 

The student said he witnessed the same group of boys hold down another teammate on a later night and "put their fingers up his butt."

The same student claims he heard, but did not see, another incident where the boys took another student and "put a Gatorade bottle up his butt."

When another player complained to the coach, the coach allegedly replied "it's just baseball, keep it to yourself."

The school began an investigation after officials were approached by a group of parents about the incidents.

Soon after, the original student started to receive text messages from teammates asking "why u being a (expletive) hiding from (expletive) starting stuff" and telling him "don't act like a (expletive)."

The boy's mother kept her son from attending school in fear of retaliation after he was told by a friend that a group was going to "jump" him.

Although not yet publicly identified as the coach involved in the incidents, Cooper City baseball coach Chris Delgado is no longer with the school and will not return for the upcoming school year.

Broward County School confirmed that it was aware of the accusations.

"The District takes any allegation involving student safety seriously," a school spokesperson said in a statement. "District officials are aware and looking into the allegations you referenced. Broward District School Police are also in communication with Altamonte Springs Police regarding its open investigation."  

Because the alleged incidents occurred outside its jurisdiction, BSO advised the family to notify the Atlamonte Springs Police Department.