Cleveland City Schools release new details about internal investigation regarding suspended athletes

CLEVELAND, Tenn. (WDEF) – Cleveland High Director of Schools Russell Dyer says an incident report has been filed with the Cleveland Police Department.

Dyer says “our internal investigation only searches for violations of board policy and administrative procedures.”

He says “only law enforcement may determine if any criminal actions took place. Sergeant Evie West will handle all media inquiries concerning that report.”

The incident in question involved the Cleveland High School basketball team who participated in a tournament in Oak Ridge, TN this past weekend.

The Director of Schools wrote in an email to the media that “the teams were properly chaperoned by both male and female coaches and our administrative procedures for field trips were followed according to our internal investigation.”

He says that the students were all in their assigned rooms by the curfew set by the coaches and that the coaches maintained an active watch of the hotel hallway until around 2:00 am.

They believe that sometime after 2:00 am, a group of 12 players, both male and female, broke curfew and left their assigned rooms.

From the internal investigation, city officials say seven of those students did nothing more than break curfew.

However, Dyer says that “five students did have various degrees of consensual sexual contact during that time.”

He says that the high school’s administrators have decide that school board policy and procedures in our student-athlete handbook were violated.

Because the students broke curfew, administrators say the students could be suspended from the team. Dyer wrote that “inappropriate consensual sexual contact did violate School Board Policy 6.313 under a Level III offense.”

These students received a five-day out-of-school suspension as allowed by this board policy.

Whether or not the students will receive “additional basketball sanctions” is still to be decided by the Activity Council.

Those sanctions could include suspension or dismissal from the teams.

As required by the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Cleveland City Schools says they will not release any student information concerning names or specific information related to individual student discipline.

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