Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/11/2011 (2032 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A parent of one of the former Neepawa Natives hockey players who was a victim of hazing is not surprised that RCMP won’t be laying assault charges.
“We were disappointed, no big surprise there,” said the parent of the player, who will not be named as the incident involved minors. “The information we were given was there wasn’t enough evidence to prove it was forced or he was restrained in any way. It renewed our conviction that legislation be put in place to protect victims, to give the RCMP something to enforce so that behaviour doesn’t continue.”
Neepawa RCMP received a complaint last month regarding a hazing incident and an alleged assault, which were reported to have occurred between Sept. 15 and Oct. 6.
RCMP investigators conducted what they called an in-depth investigation into the alleged assault, including a lengthy interview process involving players and other witnesses. The results of the investigation were then submitted to the Office of the Crown Attorney for review and consultation.
As a result of the findings of police investigators and the Crown attorney, RCMP yesterday announced that no charges will be laid against players or staff of the hockey team.
MJHL commissioner Kim Davis was “thankful that this aspect of the incident is behind us and that there’s no further action taken.”
“I wouldn’t say I am pleased, because there’s nothing about this incident to be pleased about,” Davis said. “But I am thankful this part of the process is complete.”
The league’s own investigation, led by retired Winnipeg Police Service officer Ron Bell, will continue and a report is being compiled. Davis said the incident was a sort of a wake-up call for the league.
“It’s one of those things you don’t expect will happen, but since it did, it has heightened awareness amongst all of us involved in the MJHL, with supplying players with educational tools to help them understand the inappropriateness of going too far over the line,” Davis said.
“The teams themselves, I don’t know how they have responded because I haven’t spoken to the coaches or the players. At the board of governors, which represent the teams, they are very concerned that this happened and they are concerned that a similar incident doesn’t happen in the future.”
If an end to hazing results, that would please the affected parents and players.
“It would be ideal that the investigation lead to a permanent end to these incidents,” the parent said. “Whether that’s attainable at this stage of the game, I don’t know. I think there needs to be a lot more discussion and more education and more disciplinary action put into place. There needs to be anti-hazing strategys within sports groups. It has to be more than a few words addressing it in a letter. The discussion and education has to take place.”
The parent said while there is no current anti-hazing legislation on the books in Canada, such legislation exists in 42 of the 50 states in the United States. She has already met with a few sport organizations in her drive to have federal laws enacted to combat hazing incidents.
“It’s going to take some time, but our kids are worth it,” she said.