HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Hanover County Public Schools has postponed all Mechanicsville High School football games until further notice as authorities and the district investigate alleged assaults involving players on the team.
According to the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, authorities received an anonymous tip on Aug. 19 that upperclassmen were assaulting other students at the school.
“It is alleged these students are members of the football team,” Hanover Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Lt. James Cooper said in a statement Wednesday. “The Sheriff’s Office is in the process of interviewing multiple individuals.”
All football activities at Mechanicsville High have been put on hold as the investigation moves forward and the school district has launched its own investigation into the alleged assaults.
“We take these claims seriously, and we have been fully cooperating with the Sheriff’s Office from the outset of its investigation,” Hanover County Public Schools spokesperson Chris Whitley said in a statement. “We took immediate action by suspending all football practices, which remains in effect, while the investigation takes place. We have also postponed all football games (JV and varsity) until further notice.”
Whitley added that more than 60 interviews have been conducted for the school district’s ongoing investigation. Hanover schools and the county sheriff’s office did not share other details regarding the investigations, citing confidentiality laws regarding juveniles.
“While we are unable to divulge specific details available to us without jeopardizing the investigation and violating confidentiality laws involving juveniles, we can share that anyone found to be in violation of the Code of Student Conduct and/or School Board Policy will be held fully accountable,” Whitley continued.
Mechanicsville High School was set to face off with Deep Run High School on Aug. 25. The school’s football teams are scheduled to go against Powhatan High School on Sept. 1.
“This matter is currently under investigation,” Lt. Cooper added. “Please understand that as this incident possibly involves multiple juvenile students, we will not be releasing any names or identifying information.”