Parents: Boys basketball players sat naked on school bus

Parents: Boys basketball players sat naked on school bus
COTTONWOOD, Idaho - Parents in a northern Idaho school district are steaming mad over alleged hazing incidents that were sexual in nature and were never told about it.

Some of the alleged actions include Prairie High School boys basketball players sitting naked on a school bus for the last three years as well as one player placing his genitals in another boy's face.

"We are here tonight as very concerned parents, grandparents and tax payers," said Michelle Sprute. "In the past few weeks, we have heard of some very disturbing things going on at Prairie High School. Things that are crimes and punishable by law."

Allegedly, for about the last three years, team members traditionally rode the bus naked and acted out in ways parents described as, molestation, hazing and sexual abuse -- all of which occurred with the coaching staff's knowledge.

"Sports are supposed to build character, respect, dignity, honesty, responsibility and teamwork," said AnnaMarie Schwartz. "It appears that all of these values can be thrown under the bus as long as the bus is heading to a ball game."

"The issue I have is the coaches never told the parents about what happened," said Joe O'Neil, another parent. "We had to find out by seeing the kids sitting on the bench who were suspended for that game and the school never notified the parents about this."

The boy behind the controversy was suspended for four days plus an additional in-house day. But many parents thought he should have been expelled.

"This sports thing is a privilege," said Scott Jungertt. "Acting like that, you are done. There should be no more, you shouldn't be playing sports. That is not how you represent our school, you shouldn't have the right to even go to school here if you are going to act like that."

"You guys have an issue here, I hope you deal with it correctly," said Mike Kehler.

"The coach instructed those kids on the team to keep quiet and keep their mouths shut and not discuss this," said O'Neil. "And I have heard bits and pieces whether he told them that before he knew all the facts or not. You should never tell your kids...a coach should never tell your kids to keep quite and not talk."

The school board said they believe the actions they took were appropriate, but say they'll implement new rules.

"Your policy is only as good as the board of directors makes it," said Kehler.