CARMEL, IN—LATEST: Carmel Clay Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Swensson, Carmel High School Principal John Williams and Carmel Police Chief Michael Fogarty held a news conference Wednesday morning to address the an alleged assault and bullying case that occurred on a school bus following a Carmel High School basketball game.
However, virtually no new information about the case was released during the news conference. Dr. Swensson stated several times that privacy laws prevented them from going into greater detail as to the circumstances and individuals involved in the incident. He would only discuss the process the school had followed in dealing with the situation and their communications with the Carmel Police Department.
When asked about the existence of a video recording that could corroborate the allegations, Swensson said "I have not seen any video whatsoever. We have not looked at anything. We gave it to the police department."
Police Chief Fogarty also refused to answer any questions about the video, citing the fact that it was an ongoing investigation.
Principal Williams faced a number of questions, including allegations he has told students and parents to not talk to the media about the case. Williams denied making such statements.
Williams concluded the press conference by stating that he would be meeting with parents of the basketball team on Wednesday night and that a statement would be made to the student body of Carmel High School.
One teacher was brave enough to say what the secrecy of the bullying at Carmel High Schoo has done to the student body.
"It's creating an atmosphere of mistrust between the student body and the administration. Because it has been passed through the rumor mill so much nobody really knows what the reality is," said one Carmel teacher who asked not to be identified.
The reality is two freshmen on the Carmel High School basketball team were bullied. Students for days have told Fox59 that the abuse was sexual.
"It's something… you sense a real sense of disgust among the students," added the teacher.
When asked if he thought the students at Carmel High School were scared, he responded "I don't think they have a fear of harm, but there is a distrust."
In this case neither student came forward. A Carmel parent overheard rumors in the hallway.
"This only came to light through back channels and when it did -- if the rumors are anything close to true – [the two students] don't feel like they will be represented and protected," explained the teacher.
Fox59 tried to get to the bottom of the situation, filing a request for public information regarding details of criminal confinement, battery and deviate conduct listed in an initial police report. The Carmel Police Department refused to release more.
The Carmel city attorney responded with this letter back to Fox59 that confirmed that "the alleged victim is a juvenile student and the alleged perpetrators are also students."
Fox59 has not named the three senior players because, at this time, they do not face criminal charges. One of the fathers is a lawyer, who is reportedly working the case.
"It's showing the possibility that these things just aren't being addressed," continued the Carmel High School teacher. "And its going to matter more about your position in the school than the reality of the abuse or allegation of the abuse."
The alleged incident happened on what was supposed to be a freshman-only school bus. It is unclear why the seniors go on this bus, with four coaches on board at the time.
The school and police will hold a news conference Wednesday.
"I'm optimistic in a way that [the school administration] will take this opportunity to make a bad situation right, dispel the rumors or acknowledge they need to address this head on."
Fox59 News is continuing to break new developments into the investigation surrounding the Carmel High School basketball team. Now, the Dept. of Child Services has told Fox59 News's Kimberly King that they are conducting a second investigation. This investigation involves allegations of bullying and abuse on freshman.
Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m. Carmel Clay Schools along with Carmel Police will hold a joint press conference. Fox59 News will be there and we'll continue to bring you updates as we collect more information.
Tune in to Fox59 News at 10, Reporter Kim King will have an exclusive interview with a teacher.
Multiple sources are telling Fox59 News' Kimberly King that the three seniors who may have been involved in the investigation were seen cleaning out their lockers. Students are saying the three were expelled.
Fox59 News is learning more about the investigation into an alleged case of extreme bullying involving the Carmel High School basketball team.
Fox59 News has learned Carmel Police have seized a tape that may have recorded the alleged incident. We're told the tape is in digital form, two hard drives from the school bus' digital system. This system, we're told, records over itself, so it is unclear what, if anything is on that recording.
Police are refusing to comment on the investigation, and they have denied a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request by Fox59 News.
Our request for the tape has been turned over to the school's attorney. A reply is expected within the next seven days.
Monday, when asked by Fox59 News about whether a tape existed, the principal of Carmel High School said he was unsure. However, Fox59 News learned the "tape" was turned over by the school to police Friday afternoon.
The reported bullying incident which occurred January 22nd, when the basketball team was returning from a game in Terre Haute, took place on the back of a school bus. We were told four freshman coaches were on board at the time. We were also informed the incident involved three senior students. The bullying may have included acts that were sexual in nature.
The three senior students could face criminal charges including: criminal confinement, battery, and deviat conduct. They may also face further disciplinary action from the school.
Tune in for Fox59 News: First at Four where Kimberly King will have an update on where things stand now.
Follow Kimberly King on twitter as she works the story.
Carmel Police have now launched a criminal investigation into a bullying incident involving two Carmel High School Freshman back on January 22nd.
The Department of Child Services confirms to FOX59 they received a complaint of alleged abuse involving one of the two boys. One of the boys went to the hospital and a report of abuse findings was forwarded to Carmel police.
"I heard he was brought to tears," said Katie Connery, a freshman who knew the young student in her class.
A spokeswoman with DCS would not rule out a second investigation involving the other freshman student if information comes out. The bullying case stems from an incident on a school bus filled with Carmel High School freshman basketball players returning from a victorious game in Terre Haute.
Three varsity seniors rode back on the bus for reasons unknown to administrators. It was those three players school officials say physically bullied the two freshman. The seniors were suspended for five days and haven't played for the last several basketball games. One of the seniors father's is known as a high profile attorney. Some parents wonder if his clout in Carmel is helping to keep details of what happened under wraps.
School administrators report four coaches were sitting in the front of the bus while the three seniors allegedly attacked the two freshman in the back. Several sources tell Fox59 the allegations are sexual in nature. School administrators say they can't comment for legal reasons. Students say one of the freshman bullied hasn't been back to class since the bullying took place. Carmel Police continue to keep details of what happened quiet.
Fox59 News has filed an open records request for information, but so far the department has not released details other than to say the case is being investigated. School officials also say there may be a tape of the bus and what went on though they said they dont know if the tape exists.
Administrators just learned of the bullying after a student came forward last Tuesday. One of the freshman bullied was a team manager for the freshman basketball squad. He helped coaches and carried equipment. School Principal John Williams says the young man is still a student at Carmel High. Williams would not comment on the young man's attendance record as classmates say they haven't seen the student in weeks.
Police have reportedly gotten involved in a case of bullying at Carmel High School. This comes just days after the school's principal assured parents nothing criminal occurred.
Fox59 News has also learned that the Department of Child Services was also contacted and they too have an open investigation into the incident.
The alleged incident we're told, took place on a school bus involving members of the Carmel High School basketball team. The alleged victim is a freshman, and school officials told us previously the bullying came from upper classman.
The student has not returned to school since the alleged incident, which took place on January 22nd. Students say there are a number of rumors circulating around the school. Some say the incident was sexual in nature, but school officials told us before, that was not the case.
Tune in for Fox59 News at 10, reporter Kimberly King will have a full report about this and other new developments.