The Honeoye Central School District Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday to accept the resignations of the school’s boys varsity basketball coach Jim Parshall and boys JV basketball coach Jordan Trowbridge.
The vote came a day after district Superintendent David Bills released a statement that the district was investigating student athletes for participating in hazing, which is a violation of the district’s code of conduct. Players on the team have been suspended because of the incident, according to parents of boys on the team.
The board also accepted the resignations of an intramural supervisor and a hall monitor. The board didn’t discuss the resignations or ask any questions before voting.
Bills briefly addressed the media before entering an executive session with the board. The board said the purpose of the session was to discuss employment of personnel, student conduct and student records.
“School is simulated life and real life,” Bills said. “Some of our kids have made some mistakes. We have great kids here. We’re working through it. There has been a violation, but we’re working through it and we’re looking forward to moving on. We appreciate everyone’s understanding of that. We have a wonderful community. We have a wonderful group of kids. Sometimes mistakes happen.”
When asked how many students were involved and to elaborate on the incident, he said the district is still conducting an investigation.
“When we get into student privacy issues and personnel issues, that’s where I’m going to stop and be very protective of those folks,” Bills said.
Bills said the district is still deciding on the future of the varsity team’s season. Athletic Director Mark Storm said a decision hasn’t been made regarding the Section 5’s postseason tournament.
Storm, who is serving as Honeoye’s interim JV coach, sat on the bench for a home game against Naples Wednesday night. Honeoye’s varsity team forfeited Wednesday’s game against Naples. Before the forfeit, Honeoye led the Finger Lakes West League with an 8-1 league record and 11-4 overall record. Naples sat in second place with a 6-2 league record and 12-2 overall record. The Honeoye varsity team is forfeiting its remaining two regular season games.
Bills declined to talk about what incident led to the coaches’ resignations and students’ discipline.
Erin Cratsley, a parent of one of the suspended players, said after talking with her son, it is her understanding that the players were giving one another “wedgies” on the bus. A wedgie involves pulling another person up from behind by grabbing their underpants. Cratsley said the behavior occurred in celebration after a game and she believes that nobody felt scared or threatened.
Only seven residents attended the board meeting, and none signed up to comment during the public-expressions segment. Ed Smith, whose son was one of the suspended players, was one of the residents in attendance. Smith said it’s upsetting to lose what would have been his son’s senior night next week, where the team’s seniors are honored by coaches, players and fans. There were eight seniors on the roster this year.
Page 2 of 2 - “It’s very hard for me, my wife and my son,” Smith said. “Like I said, it happened and they did what they did, and now they’re heartbroken and ashamed of what they did.”
Smith said the suspended players are ineligible for extracurricular activities for a total of 10 days and received five days of out-of-school suspension. He said the district did provide a tutor for his son.
When the suspension ends, Smith said his son plans to personally apologize to the JV team and move forward.
When asked how he would categorize the incident on the bus, if it was hazing or bullying, Smith said it was just “boys being boys.”
“There was no fighting. There was nobody injured, no parent has come forward,” he said. “There was no anything else. It was boys being boys, as far as I know. I believe the boys took it too far and violated the school policy.”
Honeoye’s varsity team lost to York in the Section 5 Class C3 finals last year.